Authorities in Fordham, England, have charged a pair of local brothers with animal cruelty. Their crime? Their pooch is too paunchy, according to a report in the London Times.
Apparently, the cops had already warned the two men, brothers David and Derek Benton, that their dog, Rusty, was morbidly obese.
Rusty, a labrador retriever, weighed more than 11.5 stone (over 160 lbs.) when the authorities confiscated him. According to Kennel Club standards, a dog of Rusty's frame should weigh 65-80 lbs., so his BMI was off the charts.
It apparently showed, too. Rusty could barely take a couple steps before collapsing out of breath.
"He did literally look like a walrus," the local vet told the Times. "There were times when he couldn't get up from his back legs at all. It was horrible to see."
In the manner of enablers everywhere, the Benton brothers claimed that they were doing nothing out of the ordinary. They said Rusty only got one meal of dry dog food a day plus the occasional bone as a snack. "He has been plump ever since he was a puppy," David Benton told the paper, the functional equivalent of the "He's just husky" dodge used by parents about fat kids.
Anyway, Rusty is not quite the dog he used to be. After some time spent under the care of a representative of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, he shed 3.5 stone (about 50 lbs.), according to testimony before the court handling the case.
Guess you CAN teach a fat dog new tricks...