Award for vet nurse help­ing pets fight flab

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page - BY EMILIA BONA emilia.bona@trin­i­tymir­ @emil­i­abonaTM

AVETERINARY nurse has won an award for help­ing a Skelmers­dale dog fight the flab af­ter he grew fat on his favourite food – cheese.

Katie Hart­noll will head to an awards cer­e­mony in Kid­der­min­ster later this month to re­ceive her tro­phy.

She will be joined by pet owner Jac­que­line Nicholson and her daugh­ter, He­len, who live in Skelmers­dale.

Katie won the Best Long-term Weight Man­age­ment cat­e­gory with He­len’s dog, Se­bas­tian, a 10-year-old Jack Rus­sell, who was a big fan of cheese and had be­come a very ef­fec­tive “high chair hoover” for He­len’s son, Austin, which led to him gain­ing weight.

Se­bas­tian, who was in the obese bracket when he started with Katie, shed al­most 4½lbs, amount­ing to 15% of his body weight, which he has now main­tained for more than a year.

He was re­ferred to Katie with his house mates Moffi, a Bel­gian Shep­herd cross and Molly, a dachs­hund.

The dogs – which live with Jac­que­line and hus­band Pete and He­len, son-in-law Jon, and two-year-old grand­son Austin, who own Se­bas­tian – have all reached their tar­get weights.

Jac­que­line said: “When we found out Se­bas­tian had won his cat­e­gory, both He­len and I laughed. We couldn’t be­lieve it, although he has al­ways been a su­per­star in our eyes.

“He’s a lovely dog and we are very proud of his con­tin­ued weight loss.

“Katie has been so help­ful and there is a lovely rap­port be­tween us all now. She never makes you feel like you have done wrong but helps you to change your ways all to­gether.

“He­len and I are look­ing for­ward to at­tend­ing the cer­e­mony with Katie. We felt it would be ter­rific to be there to pick up his tro­phy and see who wins the over­all prize.

“I think it will also be nice to meet other pet own­ers who have been on a sim­i­lar jour­ney to us.”

Katie, a mum-of-two, is the head vet­eri­nary nurse at Abb­ey­croft Vet­eri­nary Cen­tre in North­wich, part of the in­de­pen­dently-owned Willows Vet­eri­nary Group.

The 32-year-old led the team to set up Cheshire’s first weight man­age­ment cen­tre for pets at Abb­ey­croft in Sta­tion Road and has since helped 77 dogs and 26 cats em­bark on their fat-fight­ing chal­lenge.

The scheme is spon­sored by Royal Canin pet foods and staff un­der­went an in­ten­sive three-month ad­vanced train­ing and as­sess­ment in pet body con­di­tion scor­ing and nutri­tion to gain ap­proval for the cen­tre.

Katie, who holds a cer­tifi­cate in ca­nine and fe­line vet­eri­nary health nutri­tion, said: “I was re­ally happy when they rang to say I had won two awards and I wasn’t just happy for my­self, but for the an­i­mals and own­ers who have won too.

“We have been on this jour­ney to­gether and gone through the ups and down of it all with one another. I could not even have thought of en­ter­ing these awards if it wasn’t for the com­mit­ment and hard work of the own­ers and it is a fan­tas­tic ‘well done’ for all of us.

“What these own­ers do for their pets by help­ing them slim down is life chang­ing. It’s won­der­ful to see the change in their pets as the weight starts to come off. Not only are they fit­ter and health­ier in them­selves but they are of­ten vis­i­bly hap­pier in their char­ac­ter too.”

In the Best Be­fore and Af­ter Pho­tos cat­e­gory, Katie also claimed vic­tory with 11-yearold Jack Rus­sell Tiger-Lily from North­wich who shed an as­ton­ish­ing 8lbs plus, al­most 40% of her body weight, over a seven month pe­riod af­ter she was clin­i­cally di­ag­nosed as obese.

Katie Hart­noll, head vet­eri­nary nurse at Abb­ey­croft Vet­eri­nary Cen­tre, who helped Se­bas­tian, a Jack Rus­sell from Skelmers­dale, shed al­most 4½lbs

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