The start of a New Year often means one familiar resolution: to get in shape. This year, PEOPLE is honoring five individuals who managed to lose half of their weight, but they’re not the only ones worthy of some applause – or should we say ap-paws.
Over the past year, these three overweight animals also decided to get back on track (with a little help from their human friends) and shed their excess weight. Much like with their owners, obesity in pets can lead to a variety of health issues and complications, some of which were at fault for for the death of 33-lb. cat Sponge Bob in August 2012. Check out how this trio turned things around:
Obie the dachshund
It’s been a long road for Obie, but a successful one. At his heaviest, the pooch weighed in at 77 lbs., but since undertaking a Biggest Loser-type fitness challenge in September 2012, Obie has lost more than half of his weight. He showed off his slimmer self in May 2013, having lost 40 lbs., and has since lost another 10.
Skinny the cat
In September 2012, Skinny the cat was rescued by a Texas animal shelter weighing nearly 41 lbs. In order to prepare him to be adopted, the shelter put Skinny on a diet and exercise plan that helped him lose 4 lbs. by November, and now, a year later, the effort has paid off. Having been adopted by one of the veterinarians that treated him at the shelter, Dr. Brittney Barton, Skinny has dropped 15 lbs. and “his personality has bloomed,” she said. “He’s moving better.”
Holly the cat
Compared to her peers, Holly’s excess weight doesn’t seem as excessive, with the black and white feline weighing 18 lbs., but it was important for her to shed the extra weight nonetheless. To do so, a year ago, Holly began swimming for 30 minutes whenever she visited Virginia’s Old Towne Pet Resort. Though neither the facility nor her owner have revealed Holly’s exact weight-loss goal, we wanted to share her story as an inspiration to the owners of other not-so-fit felines and dogs. Just like their human counterparts, anyone’s pet can drop the pounds with a little willpower.