KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Knoxville beagle whose weight-loss journey received national attention died at 12 years old, according to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.
WBIR first reported on Mabel in Jan. 2012. She arrived at UT after her previous owners dropped her off at the Young-Williams Animal Center. Her previous owners said she was too big to care for. At one point, she weighed around 67 lbs. — three times her breed's ideal weight of around 22 lbs.
She was adopted by Dr. Angela Witzel Rollins, a UT Veterinary Nutritionist, who made it her goal to rehabilitate Mabel. That rehabilitation journey received national attention, and by April 2013, she lost more than 40 lbs. and weighed in at around 23 lbs. Mabel also became the poster dog for UTCVM's Obesity Center.
Rollins changed Mable's diet and used an underwater treadmill program which gives dogs the ability to exercise without excessively straining their bodies. It reduces edema in the limbs and joints, while also helping them regain neurological control over their limbs. The temperature of the water also increases circulation and joint flexibility while decreasing joint pain.
“She lived a long and full life surrounded by a family (at home and at UTCVM) who loved her dearly," said Sandra Harbison, spokesperson for UTCVM.