Vincent is not just your normal dachshund. At 38 pounds, he weighed about double what he should weigh. After his owner died, he was placed at a county animal shelter in Houston, Texas. Apparently, his prior owner overfed him as a loving gesture. However, this made him less likely to be adopted. He is on the road to recovery, thanks to some rescuers, according to the Examiner.
Luckily, Mary Tipton, the intake coordinator for K-9 Angels Rescue, and a member of the board of directors for Harris County Animal Shelter, happened to be at the shelter for a meeting when she spotted the portly dog. His weight gave him certain health risks, including high cholesterol and potential spinal nerve damage. After she posted the dog’s photo to Facebook, dachshund rescuer Melissa Anderson volunteered to foster Vincent.
Unfortunately, according to the National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Survey, approximately 52.7 percent of all dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. It truly is a case of loving a pet to death, as being severe overweight places dogs at risk for many health conditions and can shorten their life.
At first, feeding Vincent a healthy diet made him sick, and he even vomited, as his body adjusted to the new foods. Anderson said that his body was literally detoxing from his prior diet, which she believes consisted of eating fast food and other foods that made him gain so much weight. Anderson stated the following according to CNN.
“I am not sure what the previous owner fed him, but I think it was all fast food. He was literally detoxing the first week….[When we drove through a drive-through window, Vincent] jumped on my lap and stuck his nose outside the window, just sniffing away.”
After two weeks, Vincent is on his way to being a healthier pup. He’s already lost almost three pounds, now tipping the scales at 35.2 pounds. He eats a special food and is fed carrots and green beans as treats, though he is still learning to appreciate his new rewards. Regular exercise would strain his joints because of his excessive weight. But he participates in water aerobics five days a week. At first, he wasn’t able to do too much other than float. But now, Vincent’s endurance has increased and he can paddle for 15 to 10 minutes.
K-9 Angels Rescue hopes to get Vincent to a healthy weight prior to adoption, but isn’t opposed to an adopter who would take over his rehabilitation.
[Photo Courtesy Facebook]