In January, Justin Carrafield downed a bottle of alcohol while coming off a Xanax binge, then began fighting with his girlfriend Erin Lup in Mission Viejo. Carrafield choked her before transferring his rage to Azure, stabbing Lup's eight-month-old pit bull several times. He wound up getting a year behind bars for animal cruelty and cultivating marijuana.
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Azure was rushed to the Pet Rescue Center in Mission Viejo, where the puppy was saved despite several stab wounds and a significant loss of blood. In August, Lup returned to the PRC to give up the dog, who was overly aggressive. Hmm, wonder why?
The PRC contacted Vladae Roytapel, who works with dogs for a living through his Newport Beach-based SoCal Dog Training. "Vladae has been a great help to the Pet Rescue Center with our more difficult dogs," explained Dr. Matthew Wheaton of the PRC in the Best Friends Animal Society piece.
Needless to say, Azure had issues. Using "Doglish," Roytapel's Dr. Doolittlesque communication technique with canines, the Russian trainer--on a strictly volunteer basis--was able to help the pit bull overcome her aggression. He also trained the PRC staff to continue working with Azure. Once she was comfortable around other dogs and children, Azure was cleared for adoption.
"Her response to training has been amazing," Wheaton observed, "and I credit the unique approach of Vladae."