Devon

Big dog Bopper the Whopper is 'too fat for a kennel'

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Media captionBopper, an 11-year-old collie, shocked staff at Gables Farm Dogs and Cats Home in Plymouth

An animal shelter which rescued "Britain's fattest dog" has an even bigger problem on its hands.

Bopper, an 11-year-old collie, shocked staff at Gables Farm Dogs and Cats Home in Plymouth when he waddled in weighing almost 50kg (8st).

He is 10kg (1.5st) heavier than "Hattie the Fatty", who made headlines for her hefty frame earlier this year.

"Bopper the Whopper" is living with the shelter's owners as he is too big to fit comfortably in his kennel.

"I could not believe what I saw when he walked in," manager Ruth Rickard said. "I could not believe how huge he was."

"We thought Hattie was the fattest dog we'd ever get here, but Bopper makes her look tiny!"

Image caption Bopper has been put on a special diet to help him slim down to about 27kg (4st)
Image caption Bopper is 10kg (1.5st) heavier than Hattie the Fatty was when she arrived

Staff said Bopper, who was rescued by the RSPCA when his owners became too ill to look after him, was twice the size he should be.

The colossal canine has now been put on a special diet to trim him down to about 27kg (4st).

His exercise routine is also being slowly and safely increased.

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Ms Rickard said: "We've started him on the road to recovery, but he's so fat he still finds it a struggle to get up and get around."

She said big dogs like Bopper often had a host of health problems, which can make it harder for them to be rehomed.

They believe Bopper may need a lot of treatment, including dental work and check-ups for diabetes and cataracts, which is a common problem for larger dogs.

The charity has now set up a fundraising campaign to help cover Bopper's vet bills.

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