Nora Vanetta, a Portland veterinary technician, said she adopted 5-year-old Obie the dachshund from his elderly owners when they were no longer able to care for him due to their deteriorating health and she discovered he weighed more than twice as much as he should, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.
Vanetta started the "Biggest Loser, Doxie Edition" page on Facebook to support her attempt to get Obie to lose 40 pounds and to track the canine's progress.
"He is extremely sweet and loving," Vanetta wrote on the page. "He was obviously loved and is a joy to work with. The ageing owners just couldn't say no to those big brown eyes."
Vanetta said Obie's current regimen involves dieting and hydrotherapy, as he is currently too large to exercise.
"I plan to do swim therapy with him and treadmill work once he starts to lose a little," Vanetta wrote. She said Obie "may eventually need to have excess skin surgically removed."
The page includes a link to a PayPal account for Obie's fans to donate funds to his healthcare and weight loss effort.
"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," Vanetta wrote. "My hope is that he can be an inspiration to any person or animal trying to lose weight."