A London, Ont., animal hospital is hoping to raise more than $12,000 to give a dangerously obese cat a titanium foot.

Marco the cat lost his left rear foot in a weed whacker accident when he was just five weeks old. Because of his limited mobility, Marco gained so much weight over the years that he lost use of his back legs a few months ago.

At seven years old, Marco weighed more than 27 pounds and was in danger of being euthanized unless something was done about his weight and mobility issues.

Dr. Kyla Dillard at the Dillard Animal Hospital in London gave Marco’s owners another option: leave him in her care so that she can help him lose weight and hopefully become a rare cat with a titanium paw.   

The cost of implanting the bionic foot will be around $12,500. The Dillard Animal Hospital has set up a crowdfunding page to offset the cost of the surgery.

If the procedure is successful, Marco will be the first cat in North America to receive a titanium foot.

“This is not a prosthetic leg that will strap on and off,” Dillard told CTV London. “This will actually grow right into his bone, his skin and hair will grow right around it and it will be a permanent part of his body.”

In preparation for the procedure, Marco underwent colon surgery and rehab in order to lose weight.

“Currently, Marco can use the litterbox, walk, and occasionally, even jog through the hospital,” his caretakers wrote on the Indiegogo crowdfunding page.

But because Marco places his weight on his leg stump, it has thrown his spine, pelvis and hips out of alignment. The cat is also in danger of having its leg bone break through the skin, Dillard said.

“That’s why we want to get him an actual foot, so he can move around and run and play like a normal cat,” she said.

Marco still has to lose about five pounds to be eligible for the titanium foot surgery and staff at the animal hospital believe he will reach that goal.

Dillard said she has already spent thousands of dollars of her own money toward Marco’s hospital care.

With a report from CTV London