-- A severely obese Beagle, weighing in at a whopping 85 pounds, is certainly embracing the “New Year, New You” mentality to kick off 2015, albeit not by choice.
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, and now he’s in the care of One Tail at a Time, a Chicago-based no-kill dog rescue.
“A volunteer for Animal Control sent me the photo,” Heather Owen, One Tail at a Time’s board president, told ABC News of the pup’s picture that has now gone viral. “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.”
This photo of the sweet dog, and more noticeably his big belly, lying on a bean bag began to make its rounds on the Internet.
“He can barely walk, so he became urgent as soon as he came in,” the caption on the photo read. “He had to be wheeled out in a wagon.”
But much brighter days are possibly ahead for the obese Beagle, who has now appropriately been named Kale Chips.
“His original name started with a ‘K’ and we like to change their names to give them a fresh start,” Owen explained. “We thought Kale Chips would be funny because that’s what his future looks like.”
One Tail at a Time is awaiting test results to make sure there isn’t an outside medical factor contributing to the weight gain for the dog they believe is 7 or 8 years old, such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism.
“We’re not sure if he’s a typical small beagle, which would be about 20 to 30 pounds,” Owen said. “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.”
Kale Chips is going to start enjoying a much healthier diet of high protein, low-calorie meals. He’s also getting on a strict exercise routine using underwater hydrotherapy, a low-impact walking exercise on an underwater treadmill.
“Best-case scenario he has no underlying medical problems, he loses the weight slowly and then finds a great home that keep him active,” Owen said. “He’s a senior dog but he’s still got the potential to have a lot of years ahead of him.”