An 85 Beagle Mix named “Kale Chips” is so obese that he cannot walk. He is being pulled around in a wagon.
The hefty hound was surrendered to Chicago Animal Care and Control Tuesday by his elderly owner, who was no longer able to care for him. He is now in the care of One Tail at a Time, a Chicago-based no-kill shelter who seeks to adopt out animals. First on the list, however, is to get Kale Chips on a sensible diet and be healthy enough to walk again.
Heather Owen is One Tail at a Time’s board president. She told ABC News of the pup’s picture that has now gone viral.
“A volunteer for Animal Control sent me the photo. I’ve never seen a dog that bad. I just felt so bad because he’s got to be so uncomfortable and now he’s in a strange place. He can’t even go outside. His original name started with a ‘K’ and we like to change their names to give them a fresh start. We thought Kale Chips would be funny because that’s what his future looks like.”
One Tail at a Time is performing test results to rule out an outside medical factor contributing to the weight gain for the dog that they believe is 7- or 8-years-old, such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism. It’s possible he’s a mixed breed dog, Owen said.
“We’re not sure if he’s a typical small beagle, which would be about 20 to 30 pounds. He might be mixed with another dog a little bit bigger, but that would still be like 40 pounds, so he’s double what he should be at the most.”
Although nobody has said what he was fed before, the plan is to put Kale Chips on a high-protein low-calorie diet. He’s also getting on a strict exercise routine using underwater hydrotherapy, a low-impact walking exercise on an underwater treadmill, according to Owens.
“Best-case scenario he has no underlying medical problems, he loses the weight slowly and then finds a great home that keep him active. He’s a senior dog but he’s still got the potential to have a lot of years ahead of him.”
With his kind, graying face, sweet disposition, and enormously large belly, many people are very interested in Kale Chips, so his future is looking a bit brighter. Hopefully he will find a forever home that is able to continue the healthier habits his temporary home has initiated.
[image credit via One Tail At A Time]