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
He may be the world’s fattest dachshund, but apparently there’s not enough Obie to go around.
Oregon Dachshund Rescue has filed a lawsuit against Obie’s current caretaker, Nora Vanatta, claiming that the Portland resident doesn’t own him, was only fostering him for the organization, and must return him.
“The dog was surrendered to me,” the rescue organization’s president Jenell Rangan told the New York Daily News. “Nora is just a foster. I trusted her to bring him back.”
Vanatta, a veterinary technician, offered to take care of Obie when his former owners — who couldn’t seem to stop feeding him — decided they could no longer care for him. He was 77 pounds at the time.
The owners’ grandchildren contacted Rangan, who asked her volunteers to find a foster. Vanatta stepped forward, and the rescue organization approved the arrangement.
Vanatta agrees that the original plan was for her to foster the dog. “Initially, I said that I would foster him for a little while because I would not be able to take care of him financially,” Vanatta told the Daily News. “But I had no idea how obese he was. It’s going to take a year for him to get to a healthy weight, and I’ve committed to his rehabilitation.”
Vanatta started featurning Obie’s fight to lose weight on a Facebook page, “Biggest Loser, Doxie Edition,” which has led to donations and made Obie a celebrity, with appearances on ”Good Morning America” and the “Today” show.
Obie has lost 15 pounds and has about 25 to go.
Rangan said she wants the 5-year-old dog because Vanatta isn’t caring for him properly.
“I don’t want a dime,” she said. “I just want Obie … He’s a dog. He’s not a celebrity.” She objected to the fact that Obie flew in cargo, and not first class, on his six-hour trip to New York.
Vanatta said all money she has received for Obie has gone to his care.
She said no papers regarding his custody were ever signed, and that she wants to keep Obie at least until he reaches his goal weight.
Rangan and Vanatta are expected to appear in court Monday.
“It makes me sick because he was never in her custody,” Vanatta said. “I can’t understand why she’s spending money fighting this because he’s so happy.”
(Photo: Obie’s “Biggest Loser” Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 77 pounds, biggest loser, contributions, custody, dachshund, diet, donations, doxie edition, facebook, fat, fattest, foster, jenell rangan, lawsuit, nora vanatta, obie, oregon, oregon dachshund rescue, portland, rescue, technician, veterinary
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