Posted by Chris Oberholtz, Multimedia Producer - email
FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK (KCTV/CNN) -
He arrived in a taped up carton, left on the reception counter by an unknown man on Dec. 13. Weighing more than 30 pounds, an animal shelter in Canada took Tiny in, and put him on a diet after he was abandoned.
Margot Bird, executive director of the Fredericton SPCA, thought it was a box of donated supplies.
"His weight program is going to be on meat-based high protein, very low in carbs, if any at all," said Bird. "So it stayed there for a couple of minutes and all of a sudden it started to move and purr a little. So we opened it up immediately and inside was Tiny and another cat of normal size."
Tiny as they called him, weighed in at 30.5 pounds on the shelter scales. Now, cats on the internet being the attraction they are, the SPCA has enlisted Tiny to raise funds in an online weight-loss challenge. But there is a more serious reason for getting Tiny to shed some fat.
"It predisposes them to diabetes, arthritis, severe liver damage as well as they're unable to clean themselves properly at this weight because he can't reach," said Bird.
Tiny moved into foster care with Nancy Garon this week.
"I felt sorry for him. I did. Because, his legs, you know, he doesn't walk very far, he'll lay right down," said Nancy Garon, who is taking care of Tiny.
With all the stress of new surroundings, Tiny hasn't been eating for the past few days. He has dropped more than three pounds. But that combination could be fatal. Veterinarian doctor Nichole Jewett is donating her services to keep track of Tiny's weight and to do some blood work.
"Any cat, and not just obese cats, if they go off food for a long period of time or if they're not eating at all, even sometimes as little as two to three days, can develop what's called fatty liver disease where they start mobilizing fat to use as energy and that can replace the liver cells with fat cells that can cause them to go into liver failure. So, that's why we want to make sure that hasn't already started," said veterinarian doctor Nichole Jewett.
The next job is to get Tiny on a healthy diet. A pet food company is donating its tastiest morsels, but so far, Tiny isn't biting.
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