Obie, the overweight Doxie who has received national attention for his weight loss efforts is now the focus of a custody battle between Nora Vanatta, the woman who’s provided care and a fitness program Obie, and the Oregon Dachshund Rescue, which wants Obie returned to its custody. Vanatta claims she received Obie from an ODR volunteer with the understanding that she would help Obie shed his excess weight.
The rescue contends that proper paperwork was never filed for Vanatta to foster the dog, and that she has used Obie for “sensationalistic promotional value . . . earning money off his public exhibition on national and television shows.” An Oct. 29 court ruling has temporarily granted custody to Vanatta, but ODR is seeking further recommendations from an arbitrator. According to Obie’s Facebook page, “Biggest Loser, Doxie Edition,” the dog has lost nearly 18 pounds under Vanatta’s care, with 22 pounds to go to meet his goal.