5 October 2023

  • Media opportunity: Interviews with Dr Amelia Zakiewicz – AWLQ Senior Veterinarian, and Sarah Ambler with Stanley the Labrador, who has shredded an impressive 15 kg since adoption.
  • Time: 11:30 am; Monday, 9 October 2023
  • Location: AWLQ Community Vet Clinic, 21 Shelter Rd, Coombabah


Battling the Bulge: Pet obesity awareness day sheds light on a growing epidemic among our furry friends

AWLQ says pet owners must be aware and take the necessary steps to keep their pets in a healthy weight range

On Pet Obesity Awareness Day, Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) is drawing attention to a growing concern among our four-legged companions: pet obesity. This day underscores the importance of regular exercise and a balanced diet to ensure our pets live healthy and happy lives.

Interestingly, certain breeds have a predisposition to gaining weight. For cats, it’s Birmans, Manx, Persians, Ragdolls, and the Sphynx. While for dogs, Beagles, Bulldogs, Dachshunds, Labradors, and Pugs top the list.

AWLQ Senior Veterinarian Dr Amelia Zakiewicz highlights the alarming trend in pet obesity and its detrimental effects on their health and well-being.

“Pet obesity is not just about extra kilograms; it’s about the numerous health risks associated with overweight pets, including diabetes, joint problems, and a decreased life expectancy. Pet owners must be aware and take the necessary steps to keep their pets in a healthy weight range,” Dr Zakiewicz says.

Bringing the matter to life, King Louie, a 10.7 kg plus-size lad residing at the AWLQ, embodies the pet obesity crisis. He’s a charismatic feline looking for a loving home to support him through his weight loss and self-development journey.

“King Louie’s story is a mirror to many pets who face similar challenges. It’s heartening to see him so eager to embrace a healthier lifestyle with the right assistance,” Dr Zakiewicz continues.

Dr Zakiewicz suggests a combination of a balanced diet, regular veterinary check-ups, and daily exercise to combat pet obesity. Adopting a pet like King Louie also allows prospective pet owners to make a positive change in both their lives and that of a pet in need.

“The bond between pets and their owners is a beautiful one. It’s even more rewarding when you can share a health and wellness journey together,” says Dr Zakiewicz.

Sarah Ambler, who adopted a Labrador named Stanley from AWLQ, is a testament to the remarkable transformation a little care and effort can make. Given that Labradors are one of the breeds with a predisposition to obesity, when she first brought Stanley home, he weighed a whopping 44 kg.

“It’s been an incredible journey with Stanley,” Sarah shares. “After he lost 15 kg, the difference in him was night and day. He’s more energetic and playful and seems so much happier. We made sure to stick to a balanced diet and introduced regular walks and playtime into his routine. It wasn’t just about the weight loss but about giving him a better quality of life. Every pet deserves that chance.”

AWLQ invites community members to visit King Louie and many other pets awaiting adoption at their shelter. Together, we can spread awareness about pet obesity and create healthier, happier lives for our furry friends.



For all media enquiries and interview requests, please contact:
Craig Montgomery
Communications & PR Manager
0424 382 727

About Animal Welfare League Queensland

Founded in 1959, AWLQ has become a trusted leader in animal welfare. We provide a safe haven and second chance for more than 10,000 stray and homeless animals annually. To each of these animals we welcome through our doors, we promise never to euthanise a healthy, sociable, or treatable animal in our care. In addition to our shelter work, we are committed to keeping pets and people together by providing lifesaving support and resources to people in need with companion animals. We are known for our grassroots and innovative community-based animal welfare work, including our community vet clinics, Getting to Zero, Golden Hearts Seniors’ Support Program and the National Desexing Network.