RSPCA inspector Emily Astillberry with the staffiesThe journey of two fat staffies put on a diet plan to shift the pounds is set to hit the nation’s TV screens. 

Tomorrow’s episode (6 July) of ‘The Dog Rescuers‘ on Five features Staffordshire bull terrier duo Honey and Spotty from Norwich, and their battle with weight loss.

RSPCA inspector Emily Astillberry paid a visit to the chubby duo after concerned reports about their condition were made to the charity.

While the RSPCA often deals with issues of neglect or deliberate cruelty, this was a case of “loving owners inadvertently harming their pets with kindness”.

The RSPCA arranged for both dogs to be taken to the vets – where Spotty tipped the scales at 25kg (3st 13lb) – some 5kg (11lb) overweight, while Honey weighed in at an even heavier 26.6kg (4st 2.5lb) – a hefty 6.6kg (1st 0.5lb) over her recommended size.

Vets discussed the dog’s diet plan with the owners – and they soon hatched a plan to cut out treats and help the poochy pair trim down.

Four weeks later, the RSPCA returned to the vets with the dogs for a weigh-in – and both had made “excellent progress”. Honey had dropped to 25.7kg, while Spotty won the ‘slimmer of the month’ accolade weighing in at 23.6kg. Further losses were anticipated as the new diet plan continued.

The RSPCA says it was “great” to work with the owners so successfully, with the incident highlighting the importance of supporting, informing and working with owners to get positive results for animals.

RSPCA inspector Emily said: “This certainly wasn’t a case of neglect or cruelty – as I met two owners who really loved their dogs and just enjoyed spoiling them; but clearly we needed to intervene here.

“Both Staffies were getting plenty of exercise, so this was purely about their diet – and the owners giving too much love with tasty treats.

“The dogs thought their owners were wonderful for all these goodies. But this was doing them harm in the long run. This was simply a case of loving owners inadvertently harming their pets with kindness.

“Carrying large amounts of weight can cause real problems for dogs – from arthritis, to mobility issues and other life-limiting health problems; and being overweight can cut a dogs life expectancy by around two years.

“Fortunately, after we arranged the vet check and they put forward a diet plan, the owners worked so hard to change things and made excellent progress. Both Honey and Spotty lost a lot of weight and made a great start on their fitness journey – I was just so pleased; as this highlights what the RSPCA is all about; working with owners, providing support and getting great results for animals.”

Comedian Alan Davies hosts The Dog Rescuers, with the hit show now entering its ninth television series.

The show follows RSPCA officers on the road saving dogs from cruelty and neglect – as well as giving vital support and advice to owners, like in the case of Honey and Spotty. Tune in to the new series of Dog Rescuers tomorrow (6 July) at 7pm to see their full story, or catch up on My5.

Should you wish to help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.