Of course you have.
Obie, a sweet obese Dachshund, is now the subject of a custody battle between his caretaker, Nora Vanatta, and Jenell Rangan, owner of the Oregon Dachshund Rescue.
Unable to resist his big brown eyes, Obie’s ageing owners practically fed him to death, as he ballooned to 70-pounds, over twice what he should weigh. When they could no longer take care of him, the Oregon Dachshund Rescue was notified.
Nora Vanatta responded to a Facebook page to care for him. A volunteer from the rescue delivered him to Vanatta’s home.
Vanatta, who has a degree in animal science and is a certified veterinary technician with eight years experience, put him on a special diet with plans to begin swim therapy and treadmill exercise. In the future he may have to have surgery to remove excess skin.
Vanatta and Obie appeared on several popular morning network TV shows and Vanatta has set up a PayPal page for Obie, which she says has received thousands of dollars to help pay for Obie’s diet, veterinarian and exercise expenses.
Janell Rangan, owner of the rescue, filed a lawsuit because she believes Vanatta is exploiting the dog (“He’s a dog, not a celebrity”) and not giving him proper care. She believes the TV appearances were inappropriate and his 6-hour airplane flight to New York in cargo was a danger to his health. Since the dog was turned over to her rescue, she contends that Vanatta has no legal right to keep him.
A judge recently ruled that while the lawsuit played out, Obie would stay with Vanatta and continue his weight loss program.
Why is it that a rescue that has to advertise on Facebook for people to care for special needs dogs can pay $200-$250 an hour or more to hire a lawyer?