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Last Updated: Wednesday January 23 2008 13:25 GMT

Fat dog's slim after cruelty case

Rusty before and after his diet
This is how Rusty looked before his diet (left) and how he looks now

A dog that hit the headlines after piling on the pounds has lost a whopping 34kg in less than two years.

In 2006, Rusty the Labrador weighed in at a hefty 74.2kg - more than twice his ideal weight!

The RSPCA animal charity put him on a strict diet and took his owners to court for causing him unnecessary suffering by letting him get so fat.

Rusty was allowed home last year after they promised to keep him on the diet and now he's reached his target weight.

The RSPCA said brothers Derek and David Benton, from Ely, Cambridgeshire, hadn't been giving Rusty the right sort of diet before and he couldn't exercise because he has arthritis, which affects his legs.

But since he's slimmed down, his arthritis has got a lot better as he doesn't have so much weight to haul around.

New life

Rusty's vet said he'd made great progress: "He is a much happier and healthier dog now, his pain is well-controlled and he walks much better than he could before.

"Before his treatment and weight loss Rusty was the most disabled dog I have ever seen in practice. However, he now has a proper life again."

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