Fatty Arbuckle, the overweight hound who won Hollywood’s heart — especially Jane Lynch’s, the Emmy-winning actress who ended up adopting him — died Jan. 15, according to his Instagram.
In 2017, the abandoned mutt was discovered in a field near Tulare, California, and taken in by L.A.-based shelter A Purposeful Rescue. At the time, he weighed 116 pounds because of a hypothyroid condition. But a team of specialists and veterinarians nursed him back to health, documenting his recovery on Instagram, where the pooch attracted close to 100,000 followers.
One was Lynch, who brought Fatty home in January, and though she could not be reached for comment, A Purposeful Rescue founder Hillary Rosen reminded THR that it was the Emmy-winning actress who named the dog. “I messaged her when we found out about him and said, ‘We are bringing this big boy to L.A. and we need a name,’ and she said Arbuckle and it was just perfect. They gave him the moon and the stars and then some. Their love and devotion knew no bounds. The stars aligned for him to end up in that house of love and he would not have had the year he did without them-that I know for sure.”
Now that he’s gone, donations to the shelter have skyrocketed ($5,000 overnight following his passing), while those who spent time with the dog are forever changed in a value that cannot be monetized, Rosen added. “The army of people who rallied behind him was like nothing I have witnessed in rescue. We’ve rescued some really hot-mess dogs but Arbs was truly a miracle dog. He was infectious. He made all of us want to be better and do better. Watching his determination to live and love was a pretty powerful thing to be able to witness and the fact that he had all these people rooting for him is a testament to who he was.”
A version of this story first appeared in the Jan. 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.