A pet obesity epidemic is under way in the U.S., according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, which reports that some 88 million U.S. cats and dogs are overweight or obese. Veterinarian Ernie Ward, the organization's founder, says owners do not understand animals' caloric intake requirements, tend to overfeed and under-exercise pets and would benefit from clearer food labels. "The public perception today is that a fat cat is a healthy cat," Dr. Ward said. "But we must bust that myth. It's what's killing our pets and costing untold dollars."