Weight loss pooches to star in calendar

Pictured from left; Rick Hall with Archie, Sarah O'Hare and Cindy Lilley with Pixie
Pictured from left; Rick Hall with Archie, Sarah O'Hare and Cindy Lilley with Pixie

Two portly pooches who attended a weight loss clinic at a veterinary surgery in Mildenhall have been voted runners-up in a national competition - and will be starring in a calendar next year.

Archie Hall, a nine-year-old male labrador, and ten-year-old female terrier Pixie Lilley reached the finals of a competition organised by pet food giant Royal Canin to find the nation’s biggest four-legged losers.

As a reward they will star in the company’s 2015 calendar, each taking a month of the year.

The chunky canines were coached to success by Sarah O’Hare, a nurse at the Eastgate Veterinary Group who runs the clinic, along with Teddy Pearson – a female feline who shed 3lb, but didn’t quite make the finals.

Mrs O’Hare, who used to run puppy classes for the surgery, said: “Some owners are very unwilling to admit their pets are overweight. It is normally not until a vet has told them several times that they will recognise it.”

Archie, who suffered from arthritis, trimmed down from 54kg to 38kg.

Pixie, who was also arthritic, was suffering from severe muscle wastage on her legs. She only lost just over a 1lb, but Mrs O’Hare explained she had to balance fat loss with muscle growth.

“They are like younger animals now,” said Mrs O’Hare. She has been running the class for two and a half years and is currently treating around 20 cats and dogs. “We are planning a big push around January, as people make their New Year’s resolutions. If they can do it for themselves, they can do it for their pets.”