"Big Bear" leaves SA, making progress on weight loss

147-pound Doberman named "Big Bear" getting healthy makeover


SAN ANTONIO – The obese, stray Doberman taken in by the city's Animal Care Services has left the Alamo City on the road to the recovery.

Bear, as he is now known, weighed in at 147 pounds last week at ACS.

He is now living in a foster home in Conroe, Texas, under the care of Lone Star Doberman Rescue.

"He's pretty miserable. He looks sad," said Jennifer Rentfrow, president and founder of the rescue organization. "He doesn't feel good, maybe a little depressed."

Rentfrow says Bear has visited a veterinarian who helped formulate a plan for the dog's weight loss.

His goal weight, she says, is 80 pounds.

"In the beginning, he'll have to go on some very short walks," Rentfrow said. "He's going to have to get conditioned somewhat to really have an exercise program."

Bear will also be fed four small meals a day of premium food.

The dog's extra weight isn't just affecting his physique. Bear is taking a joint supplement and thyroid medication for hyperthyroidism.

He is dealing with high cholesterol, too.

"There's feeding your animal and there's feeding the food bowl," said Dr. Marilyn Gotbeter, chief veterinarian at ACS.

While it is more common to see underfed dogs brought to ACS, Gotbeter says overfeeding an animal can be extremely harmful as well.

"They can develop arthritis quicker. They'll have a harder time as they gain weight to start to lose that weight, especially if they have that underlying arthritis," Gotbeter said.

She recommends talking to your vet about how much to feed your dog and reading ingredients of the dog food you choose.

"If the main ingredient is going to be corn, or something that it's not normal for them to be eating, then obviously they're going to gain weight more than if it's protein," said Gotbeter.

Bear does have a microchip, but Rentfrow says the chip is not registered.

He will remain in Conroe for the foreseeable future.

You can follow along with Bear's progress by visiting his Facebook page, Bear the Big Doberman.

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