Portland, OR (KPTV) — He may be Portland’s favorite dog, but his owner is facing another battle.
Obie quickly became a viral sensation after the dachshund – once topping out at 77 pounds – underwent an incredible weight-loss journey, and donations poured in from people wanting to help with his expenses.
But now the Oregon Department of Justice’s Charitable Activities Section is investigating how those donations were spent.
However, Obie’s owner, Nora Vanatta, said the investigation started in January and is almost over.
“I haven’t done anything wrong,” she said off-camera. “The frustrating part is that so much money has been spent on legal fees that are totally unnecessary.”
Vanatta said the Attorney General contends that because she publicly said she would donate any leftover funds to registered nonprofits that she misrepresented herself as a charity.
“I never put it out there that I was a nonprofit, and I’ve never had complaints from people who have donated,” she added.
Vanatta says she met with the Attorney General’s office in person in January and has submitted all the paperwork and receipts for which they’ve asked. She also says she’s being told she can’t donate the remaining funds to any nonprofit of her choosing; the recipients must be approved by the Attorney General’s office.
She posted on the “Obie Dog Journey” Facebook page:
“I certainly had no idea that rescuing a dog would lead to so much drama and even threaten to eclipse the wonderful thing it really is… This saddens me more than I can adequately express… The State of Oregon concluded that all monies were appropriately accounted for and admits there was no wrongdoing found on my part.”
The Attorney General’s office confirmed to Fox 12 it is actively investigating but couldn’t comment on the matter.
The inquiry comes after Vanatta was sued for custody by the rescue from which she got Obie; it was settled after several months at a cost of $15,000 of the dachshund’s donations.
Meanwhile, Obie is still healthy – maintaining a weight of roughly 22 pounds.