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Charity launches diet competition for porky pooches

Over 13 million pets in the UK are regularly given fatty and sugary treats, including takeaways, crisps and cakes, leading to more and more animals are becoming overweight.

But now a leading veterinary charity is trying to tackle to the problem by launching a national DIET competition. And one competitor from our region has a lot of lose- nearly half his body weight as Sarah Clark reports.

Portly pooches shed the pounds

A dog from Hull is hoping to become the biggest loser in the PDSA's national slimming completion, Pet Fit Club.

Toby tips the scales at six stone six pounds, almost two thirds more than he should weigh. He's among 20 other pets who need to lose a total of 30 stone to hit their target weights. According to PDSA nurse Helen Darnell animal obesity is on the rise.

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Facts about pet obesity

The PDSA Animal Wellbeing Report found:

  • 13.5 million UK regularly receive fatty and sugary treats such as takeaways, crisps and cakes
  • 48% of owners give their pets treats because of the short-term happiness it appears to give their animal companions
  • 29% of owners feed treats because it makes them feel happy
  • 61% of pet owners think severely overweight pets should be removed from an owner who persistently ignores veterinary advice

Pooch aims to shed the pounds

Toby is on a special diet to help him lose weight

Tubby Toby, a Collie cross from Hull, is one of thousands of overweight pets in the UK. He's been entered into 'Pet Fit Club', a competition run by veterinary charity PDSA to help animals lose weight.

The 10-year-old dog weighs in at 6 stone 6lbs, which is almost two thirds more than a healthy dog of his type should weigh. He is classed as morbidly obese and will now follow a special programme to help him lose weight.

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Doggy awareness week in Birstall

Dogs should have a waggy good time at Doggy Awareness Week

The Dogs Trust Advice and Adoption centre at Birstall is hosting a doggy awareness week to teach people about all aspects of dog ownership from nutrition to grooming. The adoption centre has been open for the past 18 months in the Pets at Home store and 33 dogs have been rehomed from the office.

Dogs that have been rehomed through the store are being invited back to take part in a celebratory picnic at the end of the awareness week.

Dog suite opened in honour of fallen West Yorkshire Police Officer

Plaque at the Goodlad Suite

A Police Officer who died in 2011 has been honoured by the Dogs Section at West Yorkshire Police. PC Mark Goodlad, a Road Policing Officer, was waiting to start work as a Dog Handler. Sadly he was killed in a road traffic collision in October 2011 after he stopped to help a member of the public.

He has now been honoured with the opening of the Goodlad Suite at the Dogs Section. The suite will be used for kennelling the brood bitches who deliver the puppies born into the Force's breeding programme.

Superintendent Pat Casserly said: "We don't need a plaque to remember Mark - his memory is still very strong here. It was such an easy decision to name the new suite in his honour. We hope it reflects his commitment to his role as Roads Policing Officer and his aspiration to become a Dog Handler."

Money for the plaque and redeveloping the suite came from donations from Mark's friends and colleagues. The first dog to use the suite will be Milly who is expecting puppies any day.

Mark Goodlad's son Ben and Sergeant Rick Green

Nominations open for prestigious pooch prize

The Dogs Trust is calling on dog owners in Yorkshire to nominate their pooches for the 6th annual Dogs Trust Honours awards. The ceremony celebrates the difference dogs make to people's lives and recognises stories of devotion and courage.

The winning VIPs (Very Important Pooches) will be chosen by a panel of celebrity dog-lovers and will be awarded in July at the star-studded Dogs Trust Honours ceremony.

You can find out more information about how to nominate your dogs here.

The categories are:

  • Hero Dog (Pet and Service) - celebrating dogs that perform amazing acts of bravery or courageous feats
  • Dogged Devotion - recognising pet dogs that provide emotional or medical support to their owners by acting as canine lifelines
  • Pawfect Company - recognising dog-friendly businesses in the UK
  • Dog's Best Friend - recognising adults and children who make a big difference to the lives of dogs

Dogs Trust Honours is now in its 6th year and we continue to be amazed by tales of courageous canines, devoted dogs and furry fabulousness! The awards ceremony reminds us why the faithful hound has earned the much deserved title of man’s best friend.

We are urging dog lovers of Yorkshire to nominate their marvellous mutts and help us celebrate the very special relationship between man and dog.”

– Amanda Sands, Manager at Dogs Trust Leeds
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