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Utah animal sanctuary welcomes dog who chewed off leg

Bella arrives at animal sanctuary
Posted at 3:24 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 17:24:02-05

KANAB, Utah — An animal sanctuary in Kanab welcomed a very special guest whose long, painful journey reached its happy ending in Utah.

Bella, a young pit bull terrier, arrived at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary on Tuesday, months after she chewed off her own leg after being left outside and tangled in a tether.

On August 16, 2021, Bella was tethered in the backyard of a Saginaw, Michigan home without food, water or shelter. One of the tethers wrapped around her left hind leg, leaving Bella to chew it off at the thigh to get free.

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Bella had been tethered outside for around three weeks, and although there was a bag of food nearby, it was out of her reach once she became tangled. A witness notified a postal worker who called local animal officials.

Once discovered, Bella was brought to a veterinary hospital and underwent surgery within the hour. Within five months, she had regained up to 15 lbs. of the weight she had lost.

It was decided that Bella needed a better long-term solution for her future and she was selected for admission to Best Friends in Kanab.

Two Michigan animal control officers volunteered to drive Bella the 1,800 miles to Utah, while a local car dealership loaned the group a vehicle and covered the cost of gas.

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"This is really the embodiment of animal welfare, everyone working together,” said Julie Castle, chief executive officer for Best Friends Animal Society.

On Tuesday, Bella was greeted outside the sanctuary and immediately took to her new surroundings where she will live unless she is adopted and gets a forever home.

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“My first impressions of Bella are that she’s incredibly social with people and very sweet. After everything Bella’s been through, for her to be so comfortable, she really embodies the resiliency of dogs,” said Alison Waszmer, director of Dogtown at Best Friends.