Obese dog gets second chance at New Jersey animal shelter

Posted: Updated:

A New Jersey dog found weighing more than twice what he is supposed to weigh has gotten a second chance at life at an animal shelter.

Freddy, a shepherd mix, was rescued on Aug. 20 when his owner was hospitalized.

"On top of being overweight, he had pneumonia, so it was something that needed to be taken care of immediately,” says Gianna DiMatteo, with the Hopatcong Animal Shelter.

DiMatteo says that Freddy’s owner decided it would be best for Freddy to stay with the shelter. She adds he's on a special diet and taking medication.

"Right now, he's on an antibiotic. He has a skin infection from not being able to stand up and urinating on himself,” DiMatteo says.

Freddy currently weighs about 145 pounds, when he should weigh close to 70 pounds.

"Well I first saw Freddy, it was in pictures and I went ‘Oh my God, animal cruelty, abuse,’ Who would feed their pet this much food and not realize it?” says veterinarian Kristine Conway.

Conway says that Freddy’s blood work is perfect but the extra weight puts a lot of pressure on his internal organs. It also makes it difficult for him to walk, which weakens his muscles. To help, Freddy goes to aqua therapy twice a week.

"To lose the kind of weight he needs to lose, you're looking at over a year, year and a half to two years to do it appropriately,” says Conway.

They hope Freddy can go into a foster home soon.

Volunteers have raised over $1,000 to help in Freddy’s recovery. Anyone who would like to donate money or supplies can get more information at the shelter’s Facebook page.

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