The cat's primary caretaker, an older man, likely subscribed to a "food is love" philosophy, allowing Little Dude unfettered access to snacks without giving him much exercise, Dorney said.
"They said, 'We tried the diet food, but he loves to eat,'" she said.
Big cats (in girth, not stature) don't do well in the shelter environment, Dorney said. They tend to get stressed, which can cause their livers to start to shut down.
So when Dorney met Little Dude, the heftiest cat she's seen in her 20 years associating with shelters, she knew she had to get him into a foster home quickly.
Jackson-Brunning, who works at Newport Mesa Animal Hospital in Costa Mesa, has fostered many animals for the shelter in the last few years.
When the shelter put out word of its search for someone to foster Little Dude, she volunteered.
"There's just something about him," she said."
Read a whole lot more about the journey of Little Dude HERE
See Little Dude's FaceBook page! https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-BIG-Little-Dude/308206386025022?sk=timeline