Overweight Golden Retriever’s Owner Demanded Vet Put Him Down

by : Cameron Frew on : 09 Aug 2019 14:04
Kai Golden Retriever ThumbKai Golden Retriever ThumbThis is Kai/Facebook

After a dog-owner demanded their overweight golden retriever be put down, a vet decided to save him instead. 


Kai’s owners took him to get euthanised, but the vet decided to phone animal workers to help find the dangerously heavy pooch a new home.

Enter Pam Heggie, who became Kai’s foster mother and helped him lose more than 100 pounds.

This is by far my favourite part of swim day…

Posted by This is Kai on Tuesday, April 10, 2018

As reported by Metro, the veterinarian told Pam:


[Kai] is the most overweight animal I’ve ever seen…anything you do is gonna help that dog. Anything that he will let you do is good for him

When Kai arrived at his new home for the first time, it took him 20 minutes to climb the small set of steps that led to the door, Pam told Good Morning America.

Using my ramp, my mom had to lift my back end going up. I couldn’t get up without help. Now I had to show off- I got up the ramp and in the van ALL BY MYSELF!!

Posted by This is Kai on Thursday, May 24, 2018

With grit and determination, Pam helped Kai lose weight. She started taking him for regular walks, three times day – of course, Kai struggled at first.

Pam said: 

Literally, he went five to ten steps, and they would lay down and start panting.

But Kai is a good boy; he kept trying his best. Pam said they started with the closest neighbour’s driveway, and then the next one along.

Treadmill workout- April 2018

New Year, New Kai! That was then…..treadmill workout- April 2018. Boy that was a lot of work.

Posted by This is Kai on Sunday, January 6, 2019


With regular exercise, a strict diet and water therapy – in which dogs are placed on a treadmill in a small pool of water to help strengthen their back legs – Kai began showing steady signs of improvement. Soon he could reach the end of the street, then he could jump into Pam’s car, then he actually started running at the park.

Pam added: 

It’s crazy. It’s like raising your child and you look at them and they’re all grown up and you just wonder how that happened. I look at him and forget how broken he was. Now he’s just a regular dog doing regular dog things like everybody else.

Kai even had the chance to show off his amazing transformation on Good Morning America – Heggie said Kai ‘amazes her everyday’.

I brake for snacks!…#snackbreak #dogsnacks #100poundsdown #dogsofinstagram #rescuedog

Posted by This is Kai on Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Pam said: 

He truly amazes me every day. Everybody has things they need to do – and he was just so happy… everyday he was like this is what we have to do and I’m going to do it. And every day he did it. He shows you how to do a really big task literally one day at a time. He doesn’t worry about yesterday, he doesn’t worry about tomorrow, he just focuses on what needs to be done today and he does it. We can learn a lot from dogs.

You can see more videos and pictures documenting Kai’s remarkable journey on his Facebook page.

Truly, what a good boy Kai is. Well done, buddy.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Animals, Dogs, News, US News


Metro and 2 others
  1. Metro

    Overweight golden retriever’s owner demanded vet put him down

  2. Good Morning America

    This dog lost 100 pounds and has a new leash on life

  3. Facebook

    This is Kai