Overweight dog sheds pounds, finds home

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A hefty hound who had some serious weight to lose now has a new "leash" on life.

Chiquita has not only shed her extra pounds and reached a healthy weight, but she has found a new home.

We first met Chiquita last summer. The 3-year-old Welsh corgi weighed 40 pounds when she arrived at the Arizona Humane Society in August. That's considered extremely obese.

"She could barely even walk around, let alone jump up on a sidewalk curb," said Ashleigh Goebel of the Arizona Humane Society. "It was really sad to watch."

But thanks to the doggy diet and exercise program provided by her foster family, Chiquita has lost 16 pounds and is now showing off her canine curves. We're told her exercise program even contained water aerobics!

"She's been on a strict weight-loss program," Goebel said. "It ended up being a tremendous success."

Now, there's more good news for this formerly pudgy pooch. Glendale resident Sharon Leary has decided to adopt the slimmed-down dog. She said she is excited to have a new "walking partner" and plans to continue Chiquita's strict diet and exercise regimen so that the dog can live a long and happy life.

Leary recently lost her own companion dog and said she has always wanted a corgi.

"They just seem to be a pretty friendly dog," she said. "I just fell in love with her as soon as I walked in the door."

Pet obesity is on the rise in the United States and is considered to be the leading health threat to American pets. Nearly 45 percent of pet owners fall into the "fat gap," a phenomenon in which pet owners incorrectly evaluate their overweight pet as normal.