Tuesday, January 13, 2009

One neglected pit bull adopted, older female seeks good home

Snaggle-tooth seeks a loving home. (Image courtesy of Maine Coast Animal Rescue)

NORTHPORT (Jan 13): The younger of the two female pit bulls recently removed starving from an unheated camper in Belfast has a new home, while the second remains up for adoption.

Dr. Justin Blake at Blake Veterinary Hospital and the Canine Country Club, which also houses Maine Coast Animal Rescue, said both dogs have come a long way since they came into his care Friday, Dec. 26.

The pit bulls were two of three dogs that Animal Control Officer Steve Boguen and Belfast police found emaciated in an uninhabited camper at a residence off Swan Lake Avenue.

The owner of the dogs, Jeremy Arpan, 30, surrendered the two females to the city. A third dog, a male, was left in Arpan's care because he appeared healthy.

Last week, Belfast Police Chief Jeff Trafton said the health of the third dog would be closely monitored to ensure Arpan cares properly for him.

Blake said the younger female, now known as Abby, was adopted more than a week ago. Abby's new family brought her home Thursday, Jan. 8, after she was spayed.

The older female, which Blake has affectionately nicknamed Snaggle-tooth due to the lone tooth that protrudes from her lower jaw, has yet to find a home. Blake estimated the dog is between 6 and 9 years old.

Blake described both dogs as "extraordinarily friendly and adoptable" and he said they are now relatively healthy. "They both had worms, but mostly they just needed proper nutrition, and basic routine care," he said.

Blake said both dogs had scarring on the head and face, which he surmised may have been caused during fights over limited food and water. Both, he said, had overgrown nails and were in need of a bath. Blake said the dogs tested negative for tick-borne infections.

After seeing how well Abby and Snaggle-tooth did with his own dogs, Blake said he believes both will get along well with other canines.

Neither of the dogs appeared to have what Blake called food aggression. He said they had no trouble eating in the presence of other dogs or people.

Blake said it is sometimes difficult for MCAR to find homes for pit bulls due to their reputation. "I think a lot of people are under the false impression that pit bulls are aggressive by nature," he said. "They may be more prone to aggressive behavior, based on early influences. Mostly it's the way the animal is treated and brought up."

Blake said his experiences with pit bulls indicates they are "wonderful dogs that are loving, social, affectionate and trainable."

Along with Snaggle-tooth, MCAR is also seeking a home for Honey, a 2-year-old Shar-Pei and yellow Labrador mix that recently recovered from a heartworm infection. Honey was found a couple of months ago in Searsport. Blake said he is surprised she has gone so long without being adopted.

People interested in learning more about adoptable dogs and cats can call Blake Veterinary Hospital at 789-5700.

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