Street Dog Was So Obese She Struggled To Stand Up – What Happened Next Saved Her Life

A severely overweight street dog in Thailand was found laying on the side of the street, seemingly unconcerned about whether or not she was struck by a vehicle. Rescuers found that she was unable to stand up on her own due to her weight, and they set out to move her to a safe place so they could assess her. 

She was taken to a rehabilitation center where she began her weight loss journey and path to recovering from many dangerous illnesses, including high blood pressure that could cause a heart attack at any time. They began immediate treatment and she started down the long road to recovery. After four months of work, she is beginning a new and much happier and healthier chapter of life.

treet Dog was so obese She Struggled To Stand Up

After a Near Death Experience, Niall Harbison Headed to Thailand

Niall Harbison was a successful businessman who owned an advertising company. He suffered from both anxiety and depression, and was addicted to alcohol. He ended up near death in the ICU after almost drinking himself to death. It was then he knew that he had to make some major changes in his life. 

He sold his business and made the decision to move to Thailand to try to help stop the suffering of the more than 700,000 dogs who call the streets their home. He’s been working on rescuing and finding homes for these street dogs since 2018.

Niall Finds Severely Overweight Dog Laying in the Middle of a Busy Street

treet Dog was so obese She Struggled To Stand Up

In September 2023, Niall and his team found a dog named Cindy Crawford laying outside of a 7-11 convenience store on the side of a heavily trafficked street. She was well known by everybody in the area, and they all fed her regularly. She weighed 95 pounds, and could barely walk more than 30 feet on her own. Her fur was falling out, she was covered in pressure points and sores, and was in severe pain. 

treet Dog was so obese She Struggled To Stand Up

Among other medical issues, her vet determined she had blood pressure so high that she could suffer a heart attack at any time. Her chances at survival were not good, but Niall was willing to begin the rehabilitation process immediately. Niall shared in an Instagram post dated September 25th, just three days after her rescue, “Her joints are under severe stress, her breathing is labored, and her skin is in agony.” He went on to say that she gets tired very quickly and the only thing they wanted her to do was rest. He added, “The main focus is on a slow approach to cutting her diet down and small exercise. There can be no rush here to get a quick result.”

treet Dog was so obese She Struggled To Stand Up

Cindy Begins Her Weight Loss Journey

As the days went on, Cindy slowly started feeling better and was able to start moving around. They monitored her eating, and started just a few minutes of exercise, which is all that she could stand. They found her to be a friendly, gentle, and kind dog, and everybody could tell that she knew and appreciated that she was receiving the help and care she desperately needed. In one interview, Niall said that after just one week, she began to come out of her shell.

treet Dog was so obese She Struggled To Stand Up

They monitored her exercise and diet, and the weight began to fall off of her. She lost 10% of her body weight in just five weeks.

Over the next few months, she began to exercise and play with the other dogs. She was healing both her body and her spirit. She was a fighter, and was putting in the work it was going to take to get healthy.

How Rescuers Helped Cindy Lose the Weight

treet Dog was so obese She Struggled To Stand Up

Exercise, however small, was critical to Cindy losing weight. In just over a month, Cindy was able to walk up to a mile at a time. As her confidence grew she was able to go on longer walks, and even added some gentle hills into her routine. Niall was proud of her efforts and tenacity. She never gave up, no matter how much she struggled. She was making amazing progress. He shared, “The best thing of all though is seeing Cindy love her life again. She is loving every moment.”

Where Cindy Crawford is Today

Four months after finding her, Niall posted an update about Cindy’s progress on January 19th. It was good news, and he was excited to share how far Cindy’s come. “The day we all dreamed of. It’s taken 4 months but Cindy just broke into a full on run today.” He went on to say, “She’s lost over 20 pounds now since we took her in on the 22nd of September. Her fur is silky, smooth and thick instead of falling out in clumps. Her thyroid problem has been fully diagnosed and she has the right medicine.” 

treet Dog was so obese She Struggled To Stand Up

He estimated that her weight loss and health journey is about 50 percent complete. He pointed out that despite only being a “street dog in Thailand” that “Cindy is proof to never give up and always hang on.”

What an amazing transformation! Cindy is an amazing reminder to all of us that comebacks are always possible. They don’t happen overnight but small changes can have a huge impact on our lives, and that the results – the small successes as well as the big ones – should all be celebrated along the way.

Source: Niall Harbison (@niall.harbison)

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