Ray Ray, an 8-year-old dog, is so morbidly obese he can barely walk, and veterinarians say that if he doesn’t lose weight, he could lose his life.
Ray Ray was adopted as a puppy from the Wake County Animal Control shelter, but he recently was found abandoned in Wake Forest and barely able to lift himself up, a release from Tara Lynn of the SPCA of Wake County said. The shelter tried to find Ray Ray’s adopter to get more information, but the person’s phone number was disconnected.
It’s not clear how the mutt got so huge, but when he got to the SPCA shelter from the county shelter, he weighed 92 pounds, Lynn said. A dog his size should weigh about 40 pounds.
The neglect of Ray Ray constitutes animal cruelty, SPCA staff veterinarian Anna Boswell said in a release.
“This is absolutely a lethal condition,” Boswell said. “He cannot gain weight. I wish we could prosecute someone for this.”
The little guy is so engorged he can barely stand, and that puts a lot of painful pressure on his joints, Lynn said. He is on medication to manage the pain.
Ray Ray also is getting treatment for an overgrown nail that was so curved, it started growing into his foot pad, Lynn said. And he is being treated for a cough that probably was caused by his obesity.
The SPCA is a no-kill shelter, but in rare cases euthanizes animals if they are sick or suffering with no hope of recovery. But there’s lots of hope for Ray Ray, Lynn said.
“We believe Ray Ray can lose weight and improve his health,” she said.
To help Ray Ray shed pounds, the SPCA has devised a plan that involves a reasonable amount of food and a very gentle exercise regimen, Lynn said.
At first, just standing three or four times each day and taking a few steps will be all he can do, Lynn said. The SPCA staff uses a cart to wheel him to a scale and out to the play yards for him to enjoy some fresh air.
Ray Ray has lost some weight, slimming down to 87.4 pounds in just 19 days. But he has a long way to go, she said.
To keep up with Ray Ray and his weight loss journey, follow the SPCA of Wake County or search the Twitter hashtags #RayRay and #spcawake.