According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 59% of cats and 54% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese.
Pet obesity is a serious epidemic in the U.S. and it can lead to serious health conditions, a low quality of life, and sometimes death. So, when Kristy and John Cotthaus heard about an obese dog in desperate need of help, they were immediately want to rescue her.
Kristy and John own a dog training business called Zoom Room Virginia Beach, they first learned about the dog, named Strudel, through the rescue group Hearts for Hounds. Strudel had been taken in by the rescue group after her elderly owner passed away.
When 7-year-old Strudel arrived at the shelter, she weighed 81 pounds. She was extremely overweight and suffered from inflamed joints.
The couple contacted Hearts for Hounds and offered free fitness advice and services, as well as working with a veterinarian to get Strudel’s diet back on track. They also built her an agility track which she took to like a total natural!
“We motivate dogs with treats, toys and praise but Strudel was actually easy, it’s almost like she knew what she had to do,” Kristy Cotthaus told HuffPost. “We didn’t have to use any treats at all because she was motivated to do the agility [course] with just lots of praise.”
Strudel has already lost 25 pounds on her amazing fitness journey. Her energy has started to really perk up and she seems to be an entirely new girl.
The beautiful, sweet dog is up through adoption through Hearts for Hounds, but she was placed in a foster home with Kristen Horton in the meantime. Kristen noticed what a gentle, kind demeanor that Strudel had.
“Strudel is the sweetest animal we have ever met,” Horton said in an email. “She is calm, friendly, loves to play, snuggle, and walk, and is well-trained … Think gentle giant (though not so giant anymore!!)”
Since losing over two dozen pounds, Strudel found it much easier to run and move around. This wasn’t good news for Kristen’s cat. After starting to pick on her other fur baby, it was time for Strudel to move out of her home. She knows that she’ll find her forever home soon, though.
Now, the fun, happy, and energetic dog needs a home that will keep her active. Oh, and preferably no cats. Kids and other dogs are Strudel’s favorite!
Strudel still has some joint issues which make stairs a bit difficult, but other than that, she’s an incredible dog and has so much love to give. Her transformation and journey show just how amazing and persistent Strudel really is.
If you’re interested in adopting Strudel, you can contact Hearts for Hounds and fill out an application.
“She is a miracle of a pup so far,” Kristen Horton, her foster mom, said.
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