Lots of people know how hard it can be to lose a few pounds. Honey the beagle had a slightly more serious weight issue: if she didn’t lose half her body weight she would die.
Honey was so overweight her owner requested she be put to sleep.
Honey’s owner was an elderly woman who suffered from dementia, WGRZ reported. She would feed her pet, forget, and feed her again … and again. On top of the repeated feedings, Honey had a thyroid issue. All this led to nonstop weight gain.
When Honey was dropped off at the Niagara SPCA in Niagara Falls, New York, in June 2017, she weighed in at a whopping 68 pounds. That’s twice the weight of a healthy beagle.
Honey was so heavy she could barely use her hind legs—she had to drag her bulky body using only her front paws, to get where she wanted to go.
Often Honey ended up relieving herself wherever she happened to be, which is why she had chemical burns from urine on her belly.
Honey’s owner thought the situation was hopeless, but vets at the Niagara shelter were not ready to give up on the portly pup.
Niagara is a “No-Kill” shelter, meaning it heals, houses, and arrange adoptions for its animals. Euthanasia is not on the menu. However, the shelter could not put Honey on its “Adopt Me” list—more than she needed a good home, she needed good health, and that would take special care.
Caregivers at the SPCA designed a series of exercises and put Honey on medication for her thyroid.
Before Honey was fit enough to walk, a pair of shelter workers strapped her into a harness and half-carried the bulky beagle as she tried to jog.
Later exercises including strapping Honey into a life vest so she could run on a treadmill in a swimming pool, where the water could buoy up her ponderous frame.
It might have looked silly, but it worked.
“I was amazed at how fast it happened,” SPCA volunteer and pet foster mother Sue Cable told WGRZ. “And I gotta say it was mostly her.
“Once she was in a home and able to move around in that, she just went,” Cable said.
In just six months, Honey lost 38 pounds—more than half her body weight.
Not only did her health improve, her attitude perked up as well.
It seems that deep inside that furry roll of flab was a bouncing beagle eager to come out and play.
Honey is ready and eager to find a new home and start a new life.