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
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
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
A standard dachshund who weighs more than twice what he probably should is drawing fans from around the world who, rather than laughing at his dilemma, are supporting his quest to lighten up.
Obie, formerly named A.J., was 77 pounds when he surrendered by his elderly owners, who were in declining health, in Washington state last month.
That, for a dachshund, is too fat to go on walks, and far more weight than their dainty joints, little legs and elongated backs were meant to bear.
As his new owner puts it, Obie’s humans were “loving him with food” and “they just couldn’t say ‘no’ to those big brown eyes.”
Nora Vanetta, a Portland veterinary technician, adopted Obie — formerly named A.J. — after learning about him through Oregon Dachshund Rescue.
She explains on Obie’s new Facebook page, “Biggest Loser Doxie [Dachshund] Edition:
“Our story began when a relative of this boy’s family stepped in and asked for help … Through many tears, the owners relinquished him. It is very frustrating and sad but we are thrilled to be able to help him, and now moving on with his new life.”
Until 5-year-old Obie arrived on Aug. 18, she wrote, she wasn’t sure he, at that weight, could really be a dachshund.
“I had no idea what to expect. I thought a basset hound would show up … to my astonishment he IS a dachshund and he actually weighs 77lbs. He is extremely sweet and loving. He was obviously loved and is a joy to work with.”
Vanetta is working to get Obie down to 30 to 40 pounds,and plans to incorporate hydrotherapy and a treadmill into his regimen once he lightens up enough to be mobile.
Meanwhile, his Facebook page – where Vanetta hopes fans can both track Obie’s progress and get advice on slimming down their own overweight dogs – Obie has accumulated more than 30,000 likes, and thousands of comments, and he regularly receives photos and words of encouragement from owners of dachshunds and others dogs.
Vanetta, who has a degree in animal science, has has also set up a Paypal page (you can find it through the Facebook page) to encourage people to donate money to pay for his continued care.
She has put Obie on a specially formulated diet, and she’s hoping her other two dogs — a nine-year-old Labrador and five-year-old Dachshund — serve as role models for him.
“‘I feel tremendously blessed to be involved in his rehabilitation and I am amazed at the outpouring of love and support that I have received … My hope is that he can be an inspiration to any person or animal trying to lose weight.”
(Photos: Nora Vanetta)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 77 pounds, aj, animals, canine, dachshund, diet, dog, dogs, donate, doxie, exercise, facebook, fat, fat dogs, health, nora vanetta, obese, obesity, obie, oregon, oregon dachshund rescue, overweight, paypal, pets, portland, standard, technician, veterinary, washington
That’s about three times the average weight of a Labrador — and enough that it required four people using towels as slings to lift him when he arrived at the RSPCA’s Leybourne Animal Centre in Kent.
The 12-year-old dog was surrendered to the RSPCA by an elderly owner who kept forgetting he had already fed his pet, according to the Daily Mail.
(I am pretty sure I did that with Ace yesterday, giving him dinner twice.)
Alfie struggled to walk more than a few steps when he arrived, and he couldn’t lift his legs the few inches needed to get into a slightly raised bed at the kennel. He’s now about halfway to his target weight, staff members say.
“He literally could not stand up when he arrived because he was so fat,” said Christine Dooley, center manager. “I have never seen a dog that fat before in my 27 years with the RSPCA … He was just a massive blob with a leg at each corner. He was being fed to death …”
“When he first came in he couldn’t go on walks because of his size, but each day as the weight is coming off he is able to take a few steps further. We have to be careful when staff take him for a walk because if he sits down and refuses to get back up we have to call in extra people to lift him up again.
“We want the weight to come off slowly to give his leg muscles a chance to build up strength and for his skin to shrink … He’s such a lovely dog and his tail never stops wagging. Everyone here has fallen in love with him.’
Once Alfie has reached a manageable weight, the center will put him up for adoption.
(Photo: Ferrari Press Agency, via Daily Mail)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, alfie, animals, britain, canine, diet, dog, dogs, elderly, fat, fattest, feeding, forget, forgot, kent, labrador, loss, obese, obesity, overfed, owner, pets, retriever, rspca, surrender, surrendered, uk, weight, yellow lab
Jiffy — an obese border collie mix found frozen to the sidewalk a year ago in Wisconsin — is 40 pounds lighter, a good deal warmer and living with a new family.
Adopted last spring by Patty and Peter Geise, the elderly dog didn’t suffer any lasting injuries from the incident, but it did lead to his previous owner relinquishing her ownership of the dog, the Sheboygan Press reports.
“He’s moving like a regular dog again,” said Patty Geise. Jiffy weighed 116 pounds then, about three times what he should. He’s now down to 76 pounds.
He’s still overweight, but nothing like he was in December 2008, when he arrived at the Sheboygan County Human Society shelter, where Patty Geise volunteers.
He had been found frozen to a sidewalk after being left outside overnight in single-digit temperatures after his owner couldn’t get him back inside the house. His girth turned out to be friend and foe. It contributed to him getting stuck to ground, but his layers of fat also are believed to have kept him warm enough to survive.
His former owner was charged with intentionally mistreating animals following the incident, but the charge was later dismissed. The owner had tried to bring the dog inside, called 911 seeking help, put a blanket over Jiffy, and checked him periodically through the night.
After reports about the incident, the humane society was contacted by hundreds of people from as far away as Spain, all wanting to adopt Jiffy.
(Photo: Geise walks with Jiffy; by Gary C. Klein/The Sheboygan Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 25th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, animals, border collie, charged, cruelty, dog, dogs, frozen, health, jiffy, lost, misdemeanor, mistreating, new home, obese, overweight, owner, patty geise, peter geise, pets, pounds, rescue, sheboygan, sheboygan county humane society, sidewalk, weather, weight, winter, wisconsin
Americans are increasingly making provisions for their pets in their will, placing their pet’s medical needs over their own, and planning vacations around their pet — all signs that pets, more than ever, are considered part of the family, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA).
The APPA has released its 2009-2010 National Pet Owners Survey, and it shows pet ownership at its highest level ever, with 71.4 million households in the U.S. owning at least one pet — 62 percent of all households.
Furthermore, during the past decade the current number of pet-owning households increased by 12 percent, up from 61.2 million pet-owning households in 1998.
According to the survey, there are 77.5 million dogs, 93.6 million cats, 171.7 million freshwater fish, 11.2 million saltwater fish, 15 million birds, 15.9 million small animals, 13.63 million reptiles and 13.3 million horses owned in the U.S.
“The findings in the survey clearly demonstrate the importance of the role our pets are playing in our every day lives. Two decades of trended data show that now more than ever people consider pets an important part of the family and are still providing for their faithful companions even in these trying times,” said Bob Vetere, president of APPA.
“As pet ownership continues to rise, so has the demand for quality products and services. This has led to an amazing evolution of innovative products and services that truly enhance the experience of owning a pet,” he added.
Since the inception of the APPA National Pet Owners Survey in 1988, dogs and cats have accounted for more than two-thirds of all households that own a pet. The actual number of pet owning households is significantly higher than it was twenty years ago, as is the overall number of U.S. households.
The survey showed 17 percent of dog owners have an electronic tracking device implanted in their dog, with the Western region having significantly more tracking devices than dogs in other regions.
The survey found dog visits to the veterinarian are up, averaging 2.8 visits a year. Thirteen percent of dogs and 21 percent of cats are considered obese or overweight by their veterinarian. When asked to indicate their priority if there was a choice between a large medical expense for themselves or their pet, 15 percent of dog owners would attend to their dog’s need before their own.
Seven percent of dog, cat, bird and horse owners indicated they had made financial provisions for their pet in their will. One-third of dog, cat and bird owners and almost half of equine owners have named a caretaker or guardian for their pet in their will.
More than 20 percent of vacationing dog owners take their pet with them in the car when they travel. These owners take their dog on an average of five car trips per year. Three percent of dog owners take their dog to work at least more than once a month.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 11th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, american pet products association, appa, attachment, birds, caretakers, cats, closeness, data, diet, dog, dogs, family, fish, food, gifts, guardians, horses, households, medical, microchips, national pet owners survey, obese, overweight, ownership, pet owners, pets, products, relationship, travel, trends, vacations, veterinary, wills, work
Meet my new hero — Raleigh, the dog. I’m thinking of taping his picture to my refrigerator.
Raleigh, through diet and exercise — and we all know that, unfortunately, is what it takes — dropped 100 pounds in just over three years.
Raleigh weighed 60 pounds when owners Jane and Jay Whitehead of Oconee County adopted the then one-year-old mixed breed at a Gwinnett County animal shelter about six years ago.
But, as the Athens Banner-Herald points out in a lovely story about Raleigh’s weight battle, he just kept growing – sideways.
By February 2006, Raleigh was a Goodyear blimp on legs, ballooning to 187 pounds.
The Whiteheads tried cutting back on Raleigh’s food, and took him to their vet, who found no disorder. Other than his weight, he was perfectly healthy.
He couldn’t walk more than a few steps at a time before he flopped over on his side, and it would take three people to get him up again, his owners said.
“It just kind of equates to people you see on TV that are so obese they can’t get out of bed. That’s what he was,” said Jane Whitehead, the chief financial officer for a Gwinnett County company. “You just don’t know what to do. He had no quality of life, but nothing seemed to help.”
In late 2005, the Whiteheads’ vet referred them to Sherry Sanderson, a professor in the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine’s department of physiology and pharmacology who was beginning a study on a new weight-loss drug for dogs.”
Raleigh turned out to be ineligible for the study, but Sanderson remained interested in his case, and suggested the Whiteheads began feeding Raleigh a specially formulated dog food that is low in calories but has the nutrients dog need. It was was provided free by the Nestle Purina PetCare Co., which also helped pay for the rest of Raleigh’s therapy.
That was the other problem. Raleigh was too far gone for normal dog exercise, but Sanderson asked one of her students to set up three-times-a week sessions on an underwater treadmill in the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Small Animal Hospital. The treadmill, most often used to rehabilitate dogs after surgery, allows dogs to move their legs without putting much weight on their joints.
The treadmill and new diet worked for Raleigh, who began shedding pounds. In a few weeks, he was able to walk short distances on his own.
By January 2007, Raleigh had slimmed down to 116 pounds, and by last April, he was down to 89. His owners are aiming for a goal weight of 70 to 80 pounds.
“After seeing what he did, I don’t think there’s any case that’s truly hopeless,” Sanderson said. “I hope he can be a motivator for others.”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 1st, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: canine, college, diet, dog, dog food, exercise, fat, food, georgia, gwinnett county, jane whitehead, joints, loss, medicine, obese, obesity, oconee county, overweight, pounds, raleigh, treadmill, underwater, university of georgia, veterinarian, veterinary, video, weight loss