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Overweight dachsund ditches the burgers and pizza to lose 75 per cent of his bodyweight

Two years ago, Dennis the dachsund weighed 56 pounds (4 stone) after being allowed to gorge on human food like burgers and pizza by his abusive former owner.

Weighing the equivalent of four dogs of the same breed, he couldn’t walk more than a few feet at a time without stopping, painfully short of breath.

But now, thanks to new owner Brooke Burton, the miniature dachsund has ditched the junk food – and has lost an amazing 75 per cent of his bodyweight in the process.

In this June 2013 photo provided by Brooke Burton, Dennis, a dachshund, rests on the ground in Columbus, Ohio. Less than two years ago, Dennis weighed in at 56 pounds and could walk only a few feet without stopping, out of breath. But then Burton rescued him from his previous owner who had fed him human food like burgers and pizza and paid little attention to him. On a steady diet of strictly dog food, exercise and affection, the dog slimmed down to a svelte 12 pounds and now loves to chase squirrels and play fetch. (AP Photo/Brooke Burton)

This was Dennis in 2013 after being fed on a diet of burgers and pizza (Picture: AP Photo/Brooke Burton)

As well as his new diet, he’s been following a strict exercise regime.

And it shows.

However, his new svelte frame only came after he underwent several surgeries to remove excess skin left after his extreme weight loss.

He now weighs a slimline 12 pounds. In his spare time, he enjoys chasing squirrels and playing fetch.

In this Feb. 25, 2015 photo, Brooke Burton's miniature dachshund Dennis stands in the snow in Columbus, Ohio. Once a wanton wiener dog, Dennis went on a diet and is now a happy shadow of his former self after losing more than 75 percent of his body weight. Less than two years ago, Dennis weighed in at a whopping 56 pounds. (AP Photo/The Columbus Dispatch, Eric Albrecht)

Dennis is a lot happier in his own skin now (Picture: AP Photo/The Columbus Dispatch, Eric Albrecht)

Brooke, a nursing student from Columbus, Ohio, rescued Dennis two years ago from a relative.

She admits: ‘In the beginning, you could tell he was very depressed, that he really didn’t feel good at all.’

Vet Kathleen Ham, who helped nurse the abused pup back to health, said it was a lesson to all dog owners. ‘We have an expression: food is not love,’ she cautioned.

But, now, Dennis is a changed man. Brooke says his personality really started to come out when the weight began to drop off.

‘He’s into everything, he wants to play with everybody,’ she says.