NORMAL, Ill. — Using a bed sheet as a sling to help support Moby’s rear left leg, Jenn Jobe took the 90.4-pound beagle mix for a walk.
Even though Moby needed the support of the makeshift sling during his 15-minute walk, his tail was wagging.
“He’s very happy, very motivated and very loving for being so overweight,” said Jobe, animal care manager at the Humane Society of Central Illinois in Normal.
Jobe on Aug. 28 was walking Moby outside the humane society, where staff, veterinarians and volunteers are working to get the obese dog to build muscle and lose fat prior to a needed left knee surgery.
Moby has become Central Illinois’ poster dog on pet obesity.
“He’s an extreme example,” said Dr. Jamie Schertz of Town & Country Animal Hospital, Normal.
Moby, who is 5 years old, was brought to the humane society July 8. His previous owner could no longer take care of him for medical reasons and couldn’t afford the surgery that Moby needed, Jobe explained. It’s unknown how Moby injured his knee.
The previous owner said the dog already was overweight when he got him two years before. Humane society staff believe the dog ate a lot of table scraps, wasn’t taken for walks and received no medical care for at least two years.
When he was brought to the humane society, he couldn’t walk. He got around by pulling himself forward with his front paws and scooting his back side.
The dog had a different name but Jobe named him Moby, short for “immobile.”
The next day, humane society representatives took Moby to Schertz.
“He was brought in on a stretcher,” Schertz recalled. “He was unable to stand on his hind legs because he was so overweight. He had almost no muscle tone in his back legs.”