Sonossi, a man who has lived in the slum his whole life, is going to spend two weeks in the UK to experience first hand the difficulties of coping with this problem so he can better identify with the owners of fat dogs and cats.
‘We were all watching the terrible reports on our communal television about a poor dog who was so fat he had developed diabetes and arthritis, and our hearts just poured out to him and we decided that something needs to be done.
‘We complain when we struggle to get enough food to feed our children, but living in a society that has so much excess food the pet animals are becoming morbidly obese is clearly just as big a problem.’
Sonossi, who makes his living selling samosas on the street, said that the reports on pet obesity in the UK had made his children understand what a problem gluttony can be. ‘My children used to always be complaining about being hungry, but now they’ve seen the terrible reports from the PDSA it puts it all into perspective really. They realise now how lucky they are.
‘We’re also concerned that a client who qualify for PDSA can only get three pets treated for free rather than as many as they want. As I cannot afford medical treatment for my children I can fully identify with this.’ Experts are confused as to how dogs get so overweight. When questioned, all the owners of dogs that were clinically obese insisted they only fed their pets ‘half a can a day’ and nothing else. ‘At this level of nutrition we would expect to see a lot of emaciated animals and even deaths due to starvation,’ said one researcher who specialises in pet obesity. ‘Yet these dogs are obese so they must be overeating somehow, but we are confused as to where they get all this extra food from.’
Previous research has shown that dogs have very little control over their own food supply. Dogs can neither buy purchase food from a shop, nor open the bag and feed themselves once it is in their house.
This has led one vet to controversially suspect that owners themselves must be actually feeding them too much. ‘But why would they keep doing that, knowing it would make their dogs fat? Surely they would just cut down how much they get and that would be the problem solved?’
Sonissi has oragnised the residents of Kibera slum for a sponsored fast to raise funds and awareness to help tackle this problem. ‘We thought as we are fasting most of the day anyway it may as well be for a good cause.’