An obese dachshund that was overfed by its abusive former owner has been nursed back to health and happiness.
Dennis the dog has lost more than 75 per cent of his body weight, after being put on a strict exercise and diet regime by new owner Brooke Burton.
Less than two years ago the miniature dachshund weighed the equivalent of four animals of his breed and could barely move without becoming out-of-breath.
Ms Burton, a 26-year-old nursing student from Columbus in Ohio, adopted then four-year-old Dennis after persuading her relative - reportedly a hoarder, who had been feeding the animal human food - to give the pet up two years ago.
"In the beginning, you could tell he was very depressed, that he really didn't feel good at all," Ms Burton says.
Over the course of two years, the nursing student says that Dennis lost so much weight he had to undergo multiple surgeries to remove excess skin that he was tripping over.
Veterinary surgeon Kathleen Ham, who treated the abused animal, said his was a cautionary tale for pet owners. "We have an expression: food is not love," Dr Ham says.
Ms Burton added: “After he lost weight, this bossy little demanding man popped out. He's into everything, he wants to play with everybody."
Additional reporting by Associated PressReuse content