We're quite sure that you remember 'Obie,' the Obese Dachshund, who we have featured many times here over the past few months through his rescue and impending stardom - appearing on national television shows including Live with Kelly and The Today Show.
Well, as noted by our hero, British singer Morrissey, above, Obie got the fame, he got some money to help him out - now bring on the lawsuits. Oregon Dachshund Rescue (ODR) has filed legal papers in Portland, demanding the return of Obie from his foster home. His foster mom and caretaker, Nora Vanatta, released this statement yesterday on Obie's Facebook Page:
As you have all been following this story and supporting Obie's journey as he in turn inspires you, I must tell you of the awful news I just received.
When Drew Martin Lee initially reached out for help to get Obie out of his dire situation, Jenell Rangan recognized that she didn't have the resources to properly care for him and she publicly shared the letter. I stepped up and said that I would foster him if someone would bring him to me. I had absolutely no idea what to expect but I knew that I could help him. Patricia Malone (Bosello) volunteered to pick him up and bring him to me. I took it upon myself to take him to the vet the next day to get an exam and blood work. Linda Klein graciously stepped up and offered to pay for his first vet visit as well as start a FB page to help with the subsequent care required to rehabilitate him. I am committed to his full rehabilitation even though it will be much longer than I anticipated.
The FB page exploded with supportive people from over 20 countries and many people have donated money for his care. He became very popular and national networks contacted me and asked to share his story. I realized what an inspiration he was to people and that his story was helping so many in their own journeys to get healthy and bring awareness to the effects of obesity on people as well as their pets. The attention was overwhelming at first but I was always thinking of the mission that Obie could share and I was very careful of what people wanted to write about him. I made it clear that this was a positive thing and that it wasn't about bashing the previous owners or exploiting a fat dog. I turned down several media requests because I didn't like where they wanted to go with the story. Obie has a story and a mission to share and help other people. I am working on starting a non-profit to continue to help and inspire others in their mission to lose weight.
Jenell Rangan, owner of ODR is now demanding that I give Obie to her and actually deliver him to her lawyer's office. I must appear in court Monday morning (Washington County at 9am). She is claiming that Obie belongs to her, that I am misusing funds, and not providing proper veterinary care.
It is very upsetting that Jenell is using doxie-saving money to take him away from me especially since she has received donations and support thanks to Obie and me sharing his story. She has admitted to not being able to handle him and that he is doing well with me. He has bonded to me and Hunter and Noggin. She clearly doesn't have his best interest in mind and is only interested in him now that he is famous. I am going to fight for him and I need your continued support. I am not in a position to spend money on a lawyer but it is just not right to make Obie adjust to a new home now. I am asking for your continued support to help Obie stay with me.
While we would certainly like to hear more from Oregon Dachshund Rescue on this matter, the facts as known show that Ms.Vanatta has done a great job with Obie - he has lost 15 pounds, she has shielded him from sensationalist exposure, and he is getting great veterinary care. Guess we'll all find out what happens on Monday in court. We must add that all of this drama isn't good for anyone at this point - especially Obie.
Obie already has over 10,000 signatures on a petition at change.org supporting that he stay in his current foster home.
Keep up with Obie on his Facebook Page.