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K-9 Seeking a Forever Home

By Marie Szaniszlo marie.szaniszlo@bostonherald.comMay 18, 2019

BILLERICA — “Blue,” a Billerica police K-9 whose career was cut short when he lost a leg to cancer, was given a second chance at life. Now all he needs is a forever home.

The 3-year-old bloodhound was about to be assigned a new handler last month when his trainer, Sgt. John Harring, noticed a growth on his right front leg.

“We thought it was just a fatty cyst, the kind of growth that is so common with dogs,” Harring said.

But when he brought Blue to the veterinarian to have it checked, it turned out to be a soft-tissue sarcoma, a form of cancer that requires immediate intervention.

To save Blue’s life, even though it meant retiring him from the force where he spent his days tracking suspects with his exceptional sense of smell, Harring surrendered him this month to the MSPCA at Nevins Farm in Methuen.

Veterinarians at the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston had to act quickly to prevent the cancer from spreading to Blue’s vital organs.

“Amputation would offer him the best chance of trying to cure this form of cancer,” said Dr. Nick Trout, who performed the surgery.

Although Blue’s leg amputation ended his career with the police department, he is recovering well, said Rob Halpin, an MSPCA spokesman.

“Dogs do incredibly well with three legs,” Halpin said. “Animals don’t measure their quality of life based on how many legs they have; for them, it’s ‘do I feel loved, am I warm, do I have food and a safe place to rest?’ He’s a wonderful, well-behaved dog who would make the perfect pet.”

For information about adopting Blue, email methuenadoptions@mspca.org .

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