SAGINAW, MI – A dog whose tragic story has captivated people around the world here will soon begin her journey to a happier chapter in life.
Saginaw County Animal Care and Control Officers will take Bella, the Saginaw dog who chewed off her own leg to escape entanglement, to an animal shelter in Kanab, Utah. They plan to leave Saginaw by vehicle around 9am on Saturday, January 15th.
Bonnie Kanicki, director of the county-run animal sanctuary, said Bella will likely arrive at her destination – Best Friends Animal Sanctuary – by Tuesday, January 18.
Saginaw County Animal Control Officers Desi Sage and Abbe Balderstone will drive and deliver the brown and white pit bull.
“It’s a feel-good story,” Kanicki said. “We’re lucky to be a part of this for Bella.”
She said Thelen Subaru, the Bangor Township based dealership, will donate the vehicle and petrol used for the trip. A local family donated additional funds to cover travel expenses.
“This is not a taxpayer-funded trip,” Kanicki said.
In August, Bella was spotted in Saginaw’s Parkwood neighborhood, tied up in a yard next to a pile of chopped wood.
She was tied to a steel cable wrapped around her rear left leg, which she chewed off and apparently ate. Officials at the Saginaw County Animal Shelter took Bella and nursed her back to health.
Bella’s previous owner relinquished ownership in September.
However, the shelter was unable to partially adopt Bella due to the trauma she suffered. So Kanicki sought out animal shelters that specialized in the rehabilitation of traumatized dogs.
Meanwhile, Bella’s story — first told by local media — spread around the world. People Magazine and publications as far away as Germany shared the story with audiences, even as word spread that it would end up at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.
There, Bella is cared for by a non-profit organization that is credited with pioneering the no-kill animal shelter movement. The sanctuary is the largest in the country for service animals and is home to about 1,600 animals including dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, pigs and horses.
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