A British charity is tackling pet obesity head on by launching a "Biggest Loser"-style contest for some of the country's most overweight pets.

The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) said the weight-loss battle will include 11 dogs, five cats and two round rabbits.

“We understand why people are shocked at seeing images of morbidly obese pets," Sean Wensley, a senior veterinary surgeon with the People's Dispensary, said in a statement. Wensley commended the owners for "taking a very positive step to tackle their pet's weight problem, as they want their pets to be healthy and happy.”

To battle their bulges, the contestants have embarked on a six-month regimen that trades treats such as cheese, crisps and cake for diets and exercise that correlate with each animal's needs. Veterinarians and nurses oversee the program, which includes periodic weigh-ins for the pets and education and advice for their owners.

The contest runs until September. The grand prize includes a year's supply of diet pet food and a two-night stay for the winner and two people at a Four Seasons Hotel.