Fat Lab Rusty sheds more than six stone

PUBLISHED: 09:59 30 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 04 May 2010

Brothers Derek (left) and David, with Rusty showing off his slimmer frame.
Photo: HELEN DRAKE.

Brothers Derek (left) and David, with Rusty showing off his slimmer frame. Photo: HELEN DRAKE.

RUSTY, the fat Labrador who hit the headlines when he was at the centre of a cruelty case after weighing a massive 11 stone (74kgs), has lost half his body weight. The chocolate Labrador shed more than six stone (34kg) in less than two years to reach his

RUSTY, the fat Labrador who hit the headlines when he was at the centre of a cruelty case after weighing a massive 11 stone (74kgs), has lost half his body weight.

The chocolate Labrador shed more than six stone (34kg) in less than two years to reach his target weight after being put on a diet by the RSPCA.

Rusty's weight landed brothers, Derek Benton, 62 and David, 53, of Newport Avenue, Fordham, in court in January 2007 where they were found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to their pet.

The dog had been taken away from them in March 2006 but was returned in January last year on condition that they kept down his weight. Magistrates decided that Rusty, who tipped the scales at 11-an-a-half stone, at his heaviest, could be returned to the Bentons providing he was properly cared for. But the brothers were not happy with the RSPCA's handling of the case and said after the case that they were "dumbfounded" and that the organisation had behaved like the "fat police".

RSPCA inspectors denied they had behaved unreasonably and said they had acted to prevent Rusty suffering.

The brothers agreed to put Rusty on a diet and in December the dog, who had also been suffering from untreated arthritis, finally reached his target weight of just over six stones (40kg).

Vet, Alex Wylie, of Bury St Edmunds, who treated Rusty, said: "Rusty has made huge progress. We can now feel his ribs and he has a waistline at last. "He is a much happier and healthier dog now. His pain is well-controlled and he walks much better than he could before. He can stand for long periods of time and doesn't tire as easily.

"Prior to his treatment and weight loss Rusty was the most disabled dog I have ever seen in practice. He now has a proper life again.

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