ANSWER: Sun Spots spoke to Amanda at the Bethel Animal Hospital. People interested in adopting the puppy had through Oct. 21, to apply. That opportunity has passed. The hospital staff are now reviewing those applications received by the deadline and will select the best match(es) for this adoption that meet specific criteria and will then schedule interviews with the selected applicants. The hospital hopes to have the puppy adopted during the first week in November. You can learn more about the puppy and his adoption at the hospital’s Facebook page which they update regularly.

For those readers who are unaware of this puppy’s story, Sun Journal Matt Daigle wrote an account of the puppy’s tale that was published Oct. 13. The six-month-old puppy was found in Newry around the end of September with its muzzle bound and severely damaged. Hospital staff have named the male pit bull mix dog Blue. Some of the criteria considered include a family with an active lifestyle, fenced-in yard and a home without children under the age of 10. The police are still looking for Blue’s owner to learn how the dog came to be abandoned in Newry. Anyone with information should call 207-357-6796.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: What can you tell me about ticks at this time of year? My dog went outside for a short period of time and came in with a tick. This happened twice in the last week. Thank you. — Tick hater.

ANSWER: Great question! The University of Maine Cooperative Extension offers a free tick identification service for Maine residents. The tick population in Maine has been steadily increasing since the late 1980s, along with the emergence of tick-borne diseases.

In addition to tick identification, UMaine Extension resources include information on the biology and management of 14 tick species in Maine, tick submission instructions, tick removal guidelines, a tick photo gallery, and links to information on tick-borne diseases transmitted in Maine.

If you find a tick on your body, your children, or your pets it is important to remove it immediately. Do not use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish, or other folk remedies to remove ticks. They are not effective and may increase the risk of disease transmission. If your pet displays behavior change or you experience a rash, headaches, fever, and flu-like symptoms after a recent tick bite, see a veterinarian or physician right away.

1. A plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will work.

2. Use the tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure.

3. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. The tick can now be disposed of or saved for identification.

4. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area, your hands, and the tweezers with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.

More information, including how to submit a tick for identification, is available online at extension.umaine.edu/ipm/tickid; or by calling UMaine Extension at 207-581-3880.

Use the QR code to go to Sun Spots online for additional information and links. This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can be emailed to [email protected], tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Spots facebook page at facebook.com/SunJournalSunSpots. This column can also be read online at sunjournal.com/sunspots. We’ve joined Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/sj_sunspots.


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