When Honey was dropped off at the Niagara Falls SPCA in Niagara Falls, New York last June, her owners wanted her euthanized. Although the beagle was only 6 years old, she was grossly overweight. She tipped the scales at just over 68 pounds, which is about 40 pounds more than her ideal weight. Honey could barely move on her own. Her belly dragged on the ground when she walked, and she sat in her own urine and feces nearly all the time.

Her nails were so long, they had grown into her paw pads. She had a skin tag on her stomach that her owners thought was a tumor. She had infections in both ears and she had a prolapsed gland in one of her eyes.

Honey the beagle, intake photo When Honey was brought in, she could barely move. (Photo: Niagara SPCA)

According to the SPCA, "she also had all of the telltale signs of hypothyroidism including hair loss, yeasty skin and ears, obesity and joint issues."

When Honey was surrendered to the shelter, the SPCA posted on Facebook, "It is our natural reaction to shake our heads and ask where her vet care was all these years, but we're just glad Honey is with us and can have a really great quality of life from now on out. Her owners undoubtedly loved her, but their 'love' was literally killing her. She was given food whenever she wanted and it certainly took its toll."

The road to recovery

Honey was not in good shape, but things were about to turn around. Honey had her nails trimmed, her ears cleaned and she got a bath. She had bloodwork done and began taking medication.

In just one week, she lost five pounds, thanks to thyroid medicine, water therapy and a diet to help manage her weight.

Honey the beagle outside Honey moved in with a foster family who gave her a special diet and started gentle exercise. (Photo: Niagara SPCA)

Honey's progress was well-documented on the SPCA's social media, as the shelter shared her weight loss success story. By July, she had lost 15 pounds and more than 20 pounds by September.

By October, she was cruising around on four legs in her new foster home for likely the first time in a long time. In just four months she'd lost 31 pounds and was reportedly much happier.

"This girl will be running in no time!" the shelter posted.

Once X-rays were taken and showed that her joints were in good shape with no evidence of injury, Honey began physical therapy, and you can see her in action in the video below:

Thanks to her exercise, physical therapy, diet and medications, Honey has lost 38 pounds. Her vet thinks the happy beagle could stand to lose maybe five more pounds and then she'll be ready for a new family and a new life.

In a Facebook post, the SPCA echoes all of Honey's cheerleading supporters, "We are so proud of this girl! Go Honey go!"

Mary Jo DiLonardo writes about everything from health to parenting — and anything that helps explain why her dog does what he does.