When Bella was in a kennel at Miami Dade Animal Services, a volunteer thought the dog had a broken leg. This was written about Bella in an article trying to find her rescue:
Bella is sweet and so desperate for some love that she dragged herself across her cage to get petted by a recent visitor. She is sweet and docile, but she may have been hit by a car. She tucked her right leg under while she scooted across the cage. She bowed her head submissively when getting petted. While there are no notes on her kennel card about her injury, the volunteer noted that “all dogs will get up on all four legs to be petted, but she didn’t.” This volunteer has noticed that no one is interested in Bella, but she is very sweet and loving.
Animal advocates and networkers feverishly spread the word about this sweet dog who needed medical care. When Precious Pets Adoption League saw some of the posts about Bella, they felt compelled to reach out and save her.
The miracle of social networking is such that on Facebook, through private conversations, the plan to save Bella was underway. The original plan was for volunteers in Miami to pull Bella and get her to a veterinarian to have her leg seen. Then she would stay in Florida until July 20, when a Chicago animal advocate (me) was going to be returning from a visit to Florida to save several dogs. The Michigan rescue would meet the Chicago-bound minivan and take Bella to their veterinarian and then a foster home.
However, in rescue, nothing is easy. When the shelter went to spay Bella before releasing her to the rescue, they noted that “Due to the severe trauma on his patient and the possible compromise of cardiovascular/respiratory system, OHE is declined at this time. Patient needs to be transfer (sic) to rescue immediately in order to perform RADs and determine the best treatment plan.”
The rescue pulled Bella and took her to a veterinarian who diagnosed — not a fracture or broken leg — but rather a much more serious condition. It appears that Bella had been beaten over a period of time. Her injuries are clearly outlined on her GoFundMe page:
The X-rays showed 6 fractured ribs, pleural effusion and diaphragmatic hernia. We were shocked to learn she had sustained such horrific injuries and upon the advice of the vet, we took her to see a specialist. All of the above was confirmed along with the diagnosis that all her organs were shoved up into her chest cavity and she is in need of emergency surgery or she dies.
In one day, generous people donated over $3,000. Several of the donors were those who were involved in helping Bella in Miami. One extremely active volunteer, the one who helped organize Bella’s rescue, donated $100. Bella has had her surgery. They removed her gallbladder and a small piece of her liver, and now she can heal. She has people who care about her and will make sure she ends up in a loving home.
This is the power of social media and people who are determined to make a difference for shelter animals. Bella is one of the lucky ones. If the shelter had known how injured she was and how much pain she was in, they might have made the decision to euthanize her. But Bella’s pluck and sweet nature saved her life. And Precious Pets Adoption League will make sure that life is sweet for Bella from now on.