Home for dog whose cruel owner stubbed cigs out on his head
A little dog whose cruel former owner used to stub cigarettes out on his head is to begin a new life in a loving home - thanks to a Belfast Telegraph appeal.
White and tan Jack Russell terrier Blaze was badly abused as a puppy, leaving him with nasty burn scars on his head.
After we featured his tale 10 days ago, staff at Mid Antrim Animal Sanctuary were inundated with hundreds of requests to rehome the four-year-old dog.
Now, having undergone an operation to remove the scar tissue from the top of his head, Blaze is poised to begin a new life and leave past traumas behind him.
"Blaze is doing fantastically well," Shelagh Gormley (31), an animal care assistant at the sanctuary, said.
"He has been here for two weeks now and he's coming on great.
"We have had a lot of interest in him since he featured in the Belfast Telegraph - the article really helped get the word out.
"We have had calls, emails and messages from people here, people in Scotland, and there was a lot of interest from down south. He certainly has a lot of new fans - he even got a 'box of love' full of treats, toys and a letter from another dog in Cork!
"In the end we decided to keep him nearby. A few people came in to see him and to take him out, and he will be going to his new home with experienced owners who can handle his boundless energy this week."
As part of the process of getting ready for his new home Blaze underwent treatment to remove the lesions so cruelly inflicted by a former owner.
"The operation went really well. He had an incision down the front of his head and they took them off," Shelagh said.
"There will be a scar, but his fur should grow over it.
"Before the lesions were removed they were oozing, and it must have irritated him every time he scratched it.
"He also underwent surgery to be neutered, but by the afternoon he was literally bouncing back."
The little chap has managed to charm all the staff at the sanctuary with his friendly attitude and hidden talents.
"We know Blaze has had quite a few owners, and we have discovered that he was trained to do tricks like giving his paw and lying down at some stage," she revealed.
"He has been through an awful amount of homes, but somewhere down the line someone has been good to him."
While staff at the sanctuary will miss the dog whose plight touched their hearts, Shelagh hopes that he has finally found his forever home.
"He has been through so much but he is still a wee character - he is cheeky, always bouncing around wanting treats and very friendly despite his experience," she said.
"He has been through a lot of upheaval.
"He will now get to enjoy a new home with experienced owners who will give him plenty of exercise. We will all be sad to see him go, but it's a happy ending as well.
"His kennel won't be empty for long - there is always another dog looking for a home waiting to take his place."
For more information on animals searching for homes, visit Mid Antrim Animal Sanctuary on Facebook or www.midantrim animalsanctuary.org