And that’s even more the case after surgery yesterday to remove 2-1/2 pounds of loose skin from the dog who once tipped the scales at 77 pounds.
Obie was recovering at the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin, in Oregon, after surgery to remove the excess skin that remained after he lost 40 pounds in 8 months.
Obie’s caretaker, Nora Vanatta, says the surgery went well and that she hopes to bring him home today, according to KGW in Portland.
Obie weighed 77 pounds when he was given up by his former owners in Puyallup, Washington, last year and assigned to a foster home by a rescue organization.
Oregon Dachshund Rescue placed Obie — that’s him to the left in his beefier days — in Vanatta’s care. But after his girth garnered national attention the organization asked for the dog back, claiming Vanatta — by publicizing his crash diet and seeking contributions to his care — was exploiting him.
When Vanatta refused to turn him over, they filed a lawsuit, accusing her of using the “sensationalistic promotional value of his unusual obesity” and “earning money off of his public exhibition on national and regional television shows,” while not taking care of his condition.
A settlement in the case was reached in January, allowing Vanatta to keep the dog.
Before the Tuesday surgery, Obie was down to 37 pounds and four ounces.
“We haven’t weighed him since the surgery, but he lost 2 1/2 pounds of skin” Vanatta said. “So he should be around 35 pounds now. I figure his healthy weight is between 28 and 30 pounds.”
For now, he’s resting comfortably at the veterinary clinic (left), from which he’s expected to be released today — a few pounds lighter and his skin much tigher.
Vets will evaluate Obie to determine if more surgery is needed after he loses the last five pounds, a goal Vanatta hopes will be achieved late this summer.
Obie’s fight with obesity can be followed on the Facebook page Vanatta created on his behalf.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 1st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 35 pounds, 77 pounds, animals, biggest loser, custody, dachshund, dispute, dogs, doxie, emergency veterinary clinic, excess, facebook, fat, foster, health, loss, nora vanatta, obese, obesity, obie, oregon, oregon dachshund rescue, overweight, pets, removed, rescue, skin, surgery, tualatin, veterinary, washington, weight
A pit bull mix, she served as an unofficial helper to her owner, a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder. But when he moved to a new apartment, Layla, lacking documentation as a service dog, wasn’t allowed to live there.
Tim McGill began working to get Layla certified, and in the meantime asked some friends to look after his 3-year-old dog.
Now McGill has gotten the certification, but he can’t get his dog back.
McGill served in the Army in South Korea and Iraq and left the service with a brain injury, anxiety and flashbacks, KDKA in Pittsburgh reports.
A doctor recommended a dog, and — though Layla wasn’t a certified service dog — having her by his side helped, said McGill, a tattoo artist.
McGill says he moved to a Lawrenceville apartment to go to the Art Institute, but that, without any documentation that Layla was a service dog, she wasn’t permitted to live there.
So he asked a friend, Laura Stratemier, to watch over Layla until he could get her certified. In exchange, he offered to repay her with free tattoos for both her and her husband.
Stratemier admits she was only supposed to have Layla for two weeks, but said that as time went by — six months worth of it — she realized the dog was better off with her.
By the time the certification papers for the dog came through McGill, Stratemier was unwilling to give Layla back.
KDKA reports that local animal control officials are looking into the dispute.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 1st, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, apartment, certification, certified, custody, dispute, dog, dogs, Laura Stratemier, layla, mix, move, ownership, pets, pit bull, pittsburgh, post traumatic stress disorder, ptsd, service, tattoo artist, tattoos, therapy, tim mcgill
Jamie Carpentier decided after his boxer passed away to start looking for another dog. He got on his computer and started reading descriptions of adoptable dogs listed on the Humane Society of Greater Nashua website.
There, in the mix, was one that reminded him of his old basset hound, Ginger.
This one was 13, which, once he did the math, he realized was how old Ginger would be by now. This one was also named Ginger.
“It can’t be her,” he said to himself. “It’s been so long.”
Carpentier hadn’t seen Ginger in 10 years, not since his ex-wife got the dog in the divorce. What he didn’t know was that she gave the dog up up a short time later, and Ginger was adopted, spending the next ten years with another owner. When that owner became unable to care for her, Ginger was surrendered back to the shelter again.
Carpentier, after looking over the description, emailed the shelter, asking for photos of the dog. Once he saw them, he knew the shelter’s Ginger was his old Ginger.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day he went to the shelter to see her, the Nashua Telegraph reported.
“She heard my voice. I walked up to her and she kind of gave me a couple of licks or kisses. And I was like, ‘She knows who I am, she remembers my voice,’” Carpentier said.
“She was stuck to me like glue … I have her now, and she has a place to live and stay,” he said. “The end. It’s awesome.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 21st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, animals, basset hound, bond, custody, divorce, dog, dogs, ginger, humane society of greater nashua, Jamie Carpentier, new hampshire, old, pets, reunion, reunited, reunites, shelter, surrendered
After a Valentine’s Day hearing, a Texas judge will decide who should have custody of Victory, a bearded collie who is missing her nose.
Victory was found last month wandering in Hutto, Texas, outside of Austin. Her fur was heavily matted. She’d sustained puncture wounds. And her nose appeared to have been cut off.
Since then, an owner has stepped forward, saying Victory (not her original name) had run off a month earlier, and that the loss of her nose was the result of an autoimmune illness she was being treated for.
After she was found, the 4-year-old dog was treated by a local veterinarian, then placed in a foster home by Austin Pets Alive, which began a fundraising campaign and raised $2,000 for the dog to undergo skin graft surgery on her nose last week.
The surgery was canceled after a man called saying he owned her and wanted her back, said Laura Stromberg Hoke, a spokeswoman for Austin Pets Alive.
A judge will hear the matter Thursday, deciding whether the dog should be returned to her owner or remain with Austin Pets Alive, according to the Austin American-Statesman. No charges have been filed in the case, but police say they “wanted a judge to hear the information they had gathered during the investigation.”
Hutto animal control officers found the dog Jan. 9, and initially suspected she’d been the victim of abuse. The owners of the dog — who authorities refused to name — said she had run away around New Year’s, according to Hutto Police Chief Peter Scheets.
Police say they are still investigating whether the dog lost her nose due to medical neglect or abuse. Veterinary records show that the dog was last treated for lupus nine months ago but had no follow-up treatment, the police chief said.
One type of lupus that occurs in dogs can cause redness, scabs and ulcerations on a dog’s nose.
Scheets said there is also a possibility that the dog was injured after she escaped from her home and before she was discovered by police.
The hearing is open to the public and will be at 4 p.m. Thursday (Feb 14) in Hutto Municipal Court, 401 W. Front St.
You can find an update on this story here.
(Photo: Austin Pets Alive)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 13th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, austin, austin pets alive, bearded collie, courts, custody, cut off, disease, dog with no nose, dogs, foster, found, hutto, investigation, lupus, missing, no nose, nose, noseless, owner, pets, texas, victory
Jordan Biggs, the Oregon State University student who found a dog on the loose in Portland, took him home, and refused to give him back to his owner, is on the verge of giving up her fight for custody of the husky mix she named Bear.
The Portland Oregonian reports that Biggs, – facing $30,000 worth of legal bills and a possible felony conviction — has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of second-degree theft, serve 80 hours of community service, and concede that the dog is not hers.
If she meets those conditions, the charge would be expunged from her record after six months, allowing the 20-year-old to continue with her plans to become a teacher.
Biggs was visiting Portland when she found the dog and took him home to Corvallis.
More than a year later, the dog’s original owner, Sam Hanson-Fleming, spotted Biggs and the dog he knew as Chase in Southeast Portland.
County animal control officials ruled that the dog belonged to Hanson-Fleming, who said his dog had jumped a fence and run away. But Biggs still refused to relinquish custody of the dog.
In July of last year, police in Corvallis seized the dog and charged Biggs with theft. Bear, or Chase, spent 75 days in a shelter after that — until a judge in October ordered the dog returned to Hanson-Fleming.
Biggs filed a lawsuit seeking to regain custody of the dog, who she trained to serve as an asthma therapy dog, alerting her to oncoming asthma attacks. As part of her plea agreement, the lawsuit would be dropped.
Both Biggs and Hanson-Fleming find the apparent outcome of the case less than acceptable.
“There is no way she should not have to have this on her record — she’s a thief,” Hanson-Fleming said. “It’s no different than if you went to Walmart and stole a bunch of shirts. … She should be treated like any other criminal.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 30th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agreement, animals, asthma, bear, chase, corvallis, courts, custody, deal, dispute, dog, dogs, found, husky, jordan biggs, judge, lost, mix, oregon, oregon state university, owner, pets, plea, portland, sam hanson-fleming, student, therapy
The battle over Obie is over, for the time being.
Under a judge’s ruling this week, the obese dachshund at the center of a custody dispute will stay put with his caretaker, Nora Vanatta, who garnered national attention when she put the obese dog on a diet.
But the case could still go to trial later in the year, KATU reported.
At a court hearing Monday morning, a judge said it’s legally unclear who owns the dachshund, whose previous owners clearly overfed him and eventually reached the point of being unable to care for him.
Obie was surrendered by his original owners to Oregon Dachshund Rescue. Through that organization, Vanatta became his foster mom. Later, after Obie had gained fame, the rescue organization’s owner Jenell Rangan, filed a lawsuit seeking custody of the dog.
She’d asked that Obie be turned over to her until a trial is held. The judge declined to do that, ruling that temporarily, at least, Obie remain with Vanatta.
The case will now go to arbitration, and, if that fails, on to a trial.
“We’re just really happy about the outcome of the case,” said James McCurdy, who represents Obie’s caretaker. “Like the judge indicated in the courtroom, it’s far from over and we understand that. We’re just really ecstatic Obie can stay in the fantastic situation he’s in.”
Oregon Dachshund Rescue originally heard the dog was in need of a home and put out an online plea for help. Vanatta offered to foster the dog, and an Oregon Dachshund Rescue volunteer picked up Obie from his former owners’ home and delivered him to Vanatta.
“He’s doing well here,” Vanatta says. “It just doesn’t make sense to take him away now.”
Rangan said she believes Obie belongs to her, and that Vanatta is not providing good care.
Vanatta disagrees and says Obie, who once weighed in at 77 pounds, has lost more than 15 pounds since being in her care.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 25th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, case, court, custody, dachshund, dog, dogs, foster, jenelle rangan, judge, lawsuit, nora vanatta, obese, obie, oregon dachshund rescue, pets, rescue, rescued, ruling
A week before Thanksgiving, a Plymouth District Court judge granted the dog — owned by a 38-year-old Marshfield woman — the protection of a restraining order from a violent ex-boyfriend.
We like this law, and suggest other states take a look at it, including Alabama.
In the Massachusetts case, the dog is now in foster care, while the woman and her two-year-old daughter are staying in a domestic violence shelter at an undisclosed, out-of-state location.
“(She) feared that her boyfriend might try to take the dog, and she stated that he had already kicked and dragged the dog in the past,” said Deni Michele Goldman, Marshfield’s animal control officer.
“This new law allows a judge to award the possession of an animal to the victim and to prohibit the accused from abusing, threatening or taking the pet,” Goldman told the Taunton Daily Gazette.
“I give her updates by phone. And once she gets settled into a safe place, she will have her dog again,” said Goldman, who is the spokeswoman for the Animal Control Officers Association of Massachusetts.
The woman had filed for a restraining order in September just weeks after Gov. Deval Patrick signed an animal protection bill creating a safety net for pets caught up in domestic violence situations. The bill also instituted a statewide spay and neuter program and required training for animal control officers.
Goldman said that that more than 70 percent of abused women report that their batterers have threatened to hurt or kill their pets.
(Photo: Marshfield Animal Control)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, courts, custody, dogs, domestic violence, first, judge plymouth, labrador, law, marshfield, massachusetts, mix, panzer, pets, protection, rescues, restraining orders, shelters, state, violence
James Stewart Robinson, 45, of Birmingham, surrendered to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and was being held in the county jail with bond set at $40,000, Al.com reported.
Sheriff’s investigators charged Robinson Nov. 16 after a five-month investigation that included unearthing the dog’s remains and tests at a University of Florida animal forensics lab.
Robinson is charged with cruelty to a dog, specifically slicing the throat of his American Staffordshire Terrier, Rufus, the subject of a bitter custody battle between him and his ex-wife.
Robinson claimed his estranged wife had killed Rufus to prevent him from gaining custody, but results from a forensic analysis along with data recovered from emails, text messages and voicemails led authorities to conclude otherwise.
According to court records, Robinson texted a picture of Rufus with his throat slashed to his estranged wife, and left her a voicemail that said, “Your day is coming girl.”
“It’s hard to imagine someone being capable of something this twisted yet here we are and he is in jail,” said Randy Christian, a chief deputy. “No doubt there is a special place for people like that.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, animal cruelty, animals american staffordshire terrier, attorney, battle, birmingham, cruelty to animals, custody, divorce, dog, dogs, email, forensics, investigation, james stewart robinson, jefferson county, lawyer, pets, rufus, sheriff, slashed, surrendered, texts, throat, university of florida, voicemails
Obie, the former 77-pound dachshund, reached another milestone this week, weighing in at under 60 pounds.
According to his Facebook page, “Biggest Loser – Doxie Edition,” Obie tipped the scales at 59.14 at his weekly weigh-in Tuesday.
That brings his total weight loss to 17 pounds in 12 weeks — an average of 1.5 pounds a week, according to his foster mom for now, Nora Vanatta.
Vanatta, a veterinary technician who volunteered to foster the dog for Oregon Dachshund Rescue, has also started an Obie store, selling, for now, Obie t-shirts.
Obie, formerly known as A.J., was surrendered by his elderly owners, who apparently didn’t know when to stop feeding him.
Vanatta immediately put him on a diet, detailing his progress on a Facebook page and getting some major media attention in the process.
After that, Oregon Dachshund Rescue owner Jenell Rangan filed a lawsuit, claiming Vanatta wasn’t properly caring for him and seeking to get Obie back.
The case has yet to be heard, but a judge ruled last month that Vanatta should maintain custody for now.
Vanatta has collected thousands of dollars in donations for Obie from supporters, and says the money is being used for his care. He still needs dental work and may eventually need to have excess skin surgically removed.
“Whatever is left over after his rehab will go to help other reputable rescues and continue to educate the public and bring awareness to obesity,” she says on his Facebook page. But, she adds, she will have to use some of the donations to pay legal fees in connection with the lawsuit.
“The saddest part is that legal fees for 2 weeks are already 5 times what Obie’s medical bills are in 3 months,” Vanatta wrote in a Facebook post.
That doesn’t seem to be a big issue, judging from those leaving comments on the page. Wrote one commenter, ”I donated through Paypal and I don’t care how you use the money. Take yourself out to dinner if you want.”
The far more common message is this: Go Obie!
Posted by jwoestendiek November 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 60 pounds, aj, animals, custody, dachshund, diet, dispute, dogs, donations, facebook, fat, foster, loss, nora vanatta, obese, obie, oregon dachshund rescue, overweight, pets, progress, store, weight
An Oregon judge says an obese celebrity dachshund should remain in the custody of his foster mom until the courts can determine his legal owner.
That means Obie — and we’re guessing the 70-pound dog is fine with the interim ruling — will be staying put for now.
At a court hearing today, a judge decided that the dog will stay with Nora Vanatta, a veterinary technician who volunteered to foster him – and put him on a diet — when his owners decided they could no longer care for him.
The court hearing today — and it’s just a first step — resulted from a lawsuit filed by Oregon Dachshund Rescue owner Jenell Rangan, who claims that, since the foster arrangement was set up through the rescue, the dog is legally her’s.
Rangan’s lawsuit was filed after Obie and his diet garnered some fame — but she has said she filed it because she didn’t feel Obie was being taken care of properly.
“They say I’m exploiting him,” Vanatta told KATU. “They say I’m misusing his funds and they claim he belongs to them.”
She added, “He’s famous and he’s touched so many people and I think they regret not taking him on in the first place,” Vanatta said of the rescue group.
Oregon Daschund Rescue was asking that the dog be turned over to them until ownership is decided, but the judge declined.
KATU reports that the case will go to arbitration, and could still possibly result in a trial.
Vanatta says Obie has lost 15 pounds in the last two months.
She’s collected thousands of dollars in donations for Obie from supporters, and said the money is being used for his care.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 70 pounds, animals, battle, court, custody, dachshund, diet, dieting, dog, dogs, fat, hearing, jenell rangan, judge, lawsuit, nora vanatta, obese, obie, oregon, oregon dachshund rescue, overweight, ownership, pets