By Josh Saunders
“This dog was absolutely morbidly obese, she couldn’t walk at all or move her head because her neck was enormous, she even had to be wheeled into the vets.
“No one had seen such a morbidly obese dog that was still alive and vets told us that her heart could stop at any moment.
“At times, we didn’t think she was going to make it, we feared she was going to have a heart attack, but she didn’t and she fought on, I’m
really proud of her.
“She’s came so far in her weight loss and emotional wellbeing.
“She went from being trapped in her own body and scared of the outside world to confident, plus she can even jogs every now and again.
“Dogs like Pearl would normally be euthanized in the shape she was in but we wanted to give her a chance and I’m glad we did, she’s amazing.”
Pearl was so overweight when she was found abandoned on the streets that to move her that a specialist sheet was needed to carry her.
At the vets, it was discovered that there were no health problems that would have led Pearl to bulge to such a size other than human neglect.
Hayley said: “Sadly, there were no medical reasons for her being overweight, she had been fed to near death, literally someone feeding her into an oblivion.
“She was scared, depressed, had a lot of pain in her joints and had the saddest eyes I’d ever seen, I think she knew she was trapped.
“Every vet said they were amazed she was still alive and that they had never seen such an overweight dog.
“She fell into the super-obese category and was just enormous.
“We had to wait three days before weighing her by which point she’d lost a lot of water weight and I reckon at her heaviest she must have been well over 80lb.”
Since then, she’s been on a strict diet to help her lose weight and gradually started exercising on an underwater treadmill to support some of her bulk.
Slowly she’s slimmed down to 3st 2 (44lb) but still has more weight to lose.
Hayley said: “Dogs lose weight completely different to the way humans do, it’s about a pound a month for her, now she’s down to being a medium sized dog.
“All along the way she has had health issues, from pneumonia to over complications from her being so overweight and badly out of shape.”
Despite being physically capable of going for walks now, Hayley jokes that Pearl is a ‘lazy dog’ at heart but maintains gives her personality.
Hayley said: “She’s a real character, she’s hilarious and very lazy.
“I will take her for a walk and after a while she will just drop on the floor and refuses to move.”
After shedding close to half her body weight Pearl’s inspirational story has gone onto encourage people in her local area to diet too.
The slimmed-down dog is now a mini-celebrity and even makes guest appearances at Weight Watchers meetings.
Hayley said: “People point when they see her and say ‘Oh my god, that’s Pearl’, she’s very popular in our community.
“Everybody loves her and she’s inspiring a lot of people to lose weight themselves.”
The Dog Networking Agents are a non-profit organisation who help abandoned and shelter pets find new homes.
They also take on pets, like Pearl, who was set to be euthanized.
Hayley said: “We are a dog and cat rescue but we mainly rescue shelter dogs.
“We take the ones with dire medical cases who are in desperate need of rescue.
“With Pearl’s story, the shelter reached out all over the country, but nobody wanted her so we came up with a plan and now she’s still with us today.”
To donate or for more information visit dog networking agent.