Blue spent the first four years of his life chained to a pole in south Phoenix. But no one would know this from looking at the vibrant pit bull/bulldog mix today.
With his nose to the ground and his tail wagging behind him, Blue is more than happy to take anyone holding his leash for a walk. The slightest movement in the grass causes him to perk up.
Although Blue is deaf, he has had more communication with people in the past two months at a foster home in Chandler than in the previous four years.
Blue’s life changed when he was delivered to Paw Placement, a Scottsdale-based nonprofit, no-kill animal rescue group that addresses dogs’ and cats’ needs before placing them in adoptive homes.
Mike Mahar, a Paw Placement behavioral consultant, said pit bulls such as Blue are frequent victims of abuse or neglect.
He said their reputation as fighters makes the breed attractive to many unsavory or violent owners — including those prone to crime.
“Where you find dog abuse, you’ll also find child abuse and spouse abuse,” he said.
When Blue arrived at Paw Placement, his bones were visible through his skin. Since then, he has gained 20 pounds.
He sees multiple trainers now, including one who teaches him sign language. When Blue is not hiking up South Mountain, he is making remarkable progress in his training.
The string cheese he gets as a reward certainly does not hurt.
What: Paw Placement is a nonprofit, no-kill animal rescue group
When: Adoption hours and applications are posted at www.pawplacement.org
Where: For dogs, visit the PETCo adoption center at Dobson Road and Chandler Boulevard in Chandler. For cats, visit the PETsMART at 90th Street and Shea Boulevard in Scottsdale.
Adoption fees: $150 for dogs; $95 for cats
Contact: (602) 712-1599 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org