Stray dog Olympia drops 58 pounds, ready to be adopted

- A once-stray, very obese dog who found her way into the hearts of the staff at a Maryland animal hospital has made an incredible transformation, and is now looking for a forever home. Olympia, a pit mix who is about 8 years old, was once about two times the weight she should have been, but thanks to the love and care she received from her foster mom and her coworkers, she’s dropped an incredible 58 pounds!

Olympia was a stray when she was taken in by the Montgomery County Animal Shelter in Christianburg, Va. No one claimed her, and the shelter didn’t have the manpower to rehab her there, so they started looking for a foster for her. That included sharing Olympia’s story on social media.

One of the many people to hear about her on social media was Lindsay Vega, an emergency veterinarian at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates, a 24-hour animal hospital in Gaithersburg, Md. Lindsay went to vet school near the shelter in Christianburg, and when she saw the story she shared it, hoping to help find someone to take Olympia.

After she shared the post, one of Lindsay’s co-workers commented and said they should foster Olympia at their facility—where they have plenty of rehab equipment and she would have all the care she needed. A week later, they picked her up.

Getting Olympia where she is now, Lindsay says, was a team effort. Everyone in the office had to get on board with taking care of her and keeping her on track. When they got her, she weighed 128 pounds— about twice what she should have weighed. Lindsay says Olympia may have been heavier at some point before she got to Gaithersburg, but the shelter in Virginia couldn’t weigh her because there wasn’t a scale big enough.

Once in the care of Lindsay and her co-workers, Olympia’s weight loss journey really began. She had a nutritionist from Virginia Tech who advised on a diet plan, and she was put on a rehab schedule that included workouts two to three times a week. She had knee issues from all the extra weight, and has had multiple surgeries to repair the damage as a result. She also had a couple of benign masses removed. All of her care was free, donated by the incredible people at animal hospital she currently calls home. Lindsay says the regular exercise got easier as Olympia started to drop the weight and could move better. 

Now, Olympia is brand new! She weighs about 70 pounds— which means since she arrived at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates, she’s lost 58 pounds! Lindsay says she has a little more— maybe 10 pounds—to go. It’s slow to lose at the end, just like a human. She’s still got some “junk in the trunk,” but she’s lost 58 pounds—more than some humans could hope for.
 
She lives at the animal hospital in Gaithersburg most of the time, but Lindsay takes her on trips when she can and sometimes brings her home. Olympia is great with people, but not so great with other dogs— which is why Lindsay can’t adopt her herself. She already has other animals.

Lindsay and her co-workers hope the perfect person will hear Olympia’s story, and decide to give her the forever home she deserves.

If you’d like to adopt Olympia, contact the VCA Veterinary Referral Associates in Gaithersburg at (301) 926-3300.

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