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“Blue,” the Cancer-Stricken Police Dog, Gets a Second Chance at Life, but Now Needs a Home

Jun 07, 2019 11:45PM ● By Theresa Gilman

Blue served as a tracking hound for teh Billerica police department for two years and is seen here with Patrolman Rocco Magliozzi (credit Billerica Police dept)

BOSTON and Methuen, Mass.  – Three-year-old “Blue”—an adorable dusty-brown Bloodhound and prized member of the Billerica, Mass. police dept.’s K9 Unit—was on the verge of being assigned a new handler last month when tragedy struck in the form of a lethal cancer that would cost him his job, and possibly his life.
 
Sgt. John Harring, Blue’s trainer, brought him to the vet’s office in mid-April after noticing 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,” he recalled.
 
But Blue was not so lucky.  The dedicated member of the force, who spent his days tracking suspects using his unparalleled sense of smell, was diagnosed with a soft tissue sarcoma, a form of cancer that requires rapid intervention to prevent its growth and spread. 
 
Intent on saving his life, even if meant retirement from the force, Harring and his colleagues surrendered Blue to the MSPCA at Nevins Farm on May 8.
 
Surgery at Angell Animal Medical Center
The sarcoma diagnosis meant veterinarians at the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center had to move quickly to ensure the cancer could be removed before it spread to Blue’s vital organs.  “Amputation would offer Blue the best chance of trying to cure this form of cancer,” said Dr. Nick Trout, who performed the surgery on May 7.
 
Blue’s cancer and subsequent leg amputation effectively ended his career with the police dept., but his future remains bright as he can now be placed into an adoptive home.
 
Adopter Wanted!
Blue continues to recover at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm in Methuen, where staffers hope a wonderful adopter will step forward to take him home.  “He is a wonderful dog—well trained, friendly and social—and we think his new ‘tripod’ status makes him all the more adorable,” said Meaghan O’Leary, director of the adoption center at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm.
 
Anyone interested in adopting Blue can email [email protected] with questions or visit the adoption center during open hours.
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