Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Third pit bull surrendered, up for adoption

Dr. Justin Blake with Blake Veterinary Hospital and the Canine Country Club, which houses MCAR, said the neutered male pit bull mix has been under his care since a person who wished to remain anonymous brought the dog to the rescue Thursday, Jan. 15.

The canine is the third dog to be rescued from the Swan Lake Avenue camper, where Arpan, 30, had reportedly been housing them for several months.

The 60-pound dog, which Blake estimates to 4 years old, is ready for adoption after being treated for worms. He has been given the name, Knight.

Blake said the person who brought Knight to the rescue said there was a frozen dish of water in the camper, and the dog had licked a hole in the ice to try to stay hydrated.

"I guess on the following day [after he was rescued], the animal control officer and the police chief went to check on the dog and realized he was gone," said Blake.

Trafton said he and Boguen went to the camper to check on Knight because of the frigid temperatures. Trafton said the plan was to take the dog to a warm place. When they arrived, Trafton said a plank keeping the door closed was on the ground, and the camper door was open. "We thought he had gotten out," said Trafton.

Trafton and Boguen learned Arpan had left a note on a neighbor's doors saying he had found a home for the dog. Trafton assumed that Arpan found a person to care for the animal.

The next day Trafton learned Knight was at MCAR. "We were very relieved when we found out he was there," Trafton said.

The Belfast Police Department and Belfast Animal Control Officer Steve Boguen became involved with Arpan's dogs after neighbors complained that Arpan was not regularly feeding or caring for them.

Arpan had reportedly requested the city take ownership of the dogs because he was no longer able to care for them.

On Dec. 26, Trafton and Boguen went to the camper and seized two of the three dogs, a pair of severely underweight females.

Both dogs had scars that suggested they had been fighting over a limited food supply. Conditions in the camper were unsanitary, said police, as the dogs were not regularly let out of the camper.

At that time, police let Arpan keep Knight as he appeared healthy.

Police and Boguen informed Arpan that he must care for the dog properly, and that the situation would be closely monitored.

Arpan was charged with cruelty to animals in connection with the seizure of the two females. Trafton said that charge is still pending. Trafton said police would not likely charge Arpan with the situation with the male dog.

The chief said police have put in a request with the City of Belfast for a reimbursement order that would force Arpan to repay expenses the city incurred while caring for the dogs.

As of Friday, police had yet to locate Arpan. Trafton said he has not returned message left on his cell phone.

Blake has treated all three of the dogs. One female, Abby, has a new home. The second female, which Blake nicknamed Snaggle Tooth due to a protruding canine, has been renamed Sholay. All of her shots have been updated. Thursday, Jan. 22, Sholay was spayed and given a manicure, pedicure and oatmeal-medicated bath. She also had some dental work done and was treated for worms.

Blake said Sholay is lovable and sociable, and is awaiting a loving home. He estimates she 6 to 9 years old.

Knight, said Blake, appears to be equally friendly.

Trafton expressed gratitude for Blake's help with the dogs. "I'm very impressed with their operation down there," said Trafton. "They were very accepting; they didn't hesitate to accept the dogs."

For more information about pet adoptions at MCAR, contact Blake at 542-5750.

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