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Bella's Story

The Dogist Fund Recipient, August 2021

The First recipient of The Dogist Fund

Bella is a pup with special needs, rescued in Harbin, China by Slaughterhouse Survivors and with our help, was transported to the U.S. by True North Rescue Mission. She was one of the last few pups to be imported before the CDC’s travel ban went into effect on 7/14, prohibiting dogs from traveling to and from 113 countries, including China. As you can imagine, this ban was devastating for rescue organizations such as Slaughterhouse Survivors who dedicate their lives to rescuing dogs from dire situations. Our team flew out to LA in July to transport Bella to her foster home in NYC. Upon her arrival in New York, Bella was diagnosed with bilateral angular deformity of femurs with luxation of the stifle and tarsi. This means she has a malformation of her hips, therefore compromising mobility in her back legs. To prevent her from dragging her back legs, Bella will require the use of a wheelchair and ongoing physical therapy. We aimed to raise $10,000 for Bella's transport from China, her rehabilitation, and her longterm care.

Her Makeover

Before and after! Bella got the full spa treatment at Mr. Specks Pets in LA. When she got off the plane her hind legs were covered in grime from dragging them around on the floor and she was definitely in need of some pampering

Her Rehabilitation

Bella was able to get a physical assessment start water therapy sessions at Water 4 Dogs in New York City! "The pool is basically a zero-g environment for her, and at a 90-degree temperature. Water therapy helps with circulation and flexibility of the joints and increases range of motion comfortably. We’re trying to get her to stretch and use her muscles as much as possible to move the joint fluid and help nutrients circulate through the joint. To have her be as active as possible, we try to judge the length of time in the pool to their ability to swim, like one-minute swims with breaks in your arms. Most of our clients have conditions that will improve, and with Bella we’re trying to increase her comfort as much as possible. She won’t entirely heal, but this will help . We’re trying to give her a break from gravity and use her full body as best she can.”

 

Her New Wheelchair

Bella's foster mom was able to get her new wheels! She says, "Bella is gaining confidence in her wheels every day. She’s never known anything other than the way she used to get around, which is not good for her back. We’ve slowly had to convince her that this is a good idea. It’s been two weeks since she got her wheelchair. She’s obsessed with her raw diet so it’s been a useful tool for us to motivate her to practice her mobility. She’s gotten very good at running over toes and getting her wheels stuck on every corner she passes. Bella is our 29th foster and the perfect house guest. She’s extremely people and dog friendly and loves to greet everyone she sees. She’s an expert snuggler and if you look like you’re even thinking about giving her a belly rub, she will drop to your feet and roll over. Her older foster brother is hard to win over and is quite a grouch, but she’s touched his curmudgeon heart and won him over quickly. She has that effect on everyone.”

 

In the end, we were able to raise $10,000 for Bella. She came to us as a nervous pup with trouble walking, and is now living her best life as she continues rehabilitation with her foster family! We can't thank The Dogist community enough for helping us rescue Bella.

Testimonial from Bella's Foster Mom

@truenorthrescuemission

"Bella is doing beyond amazing. More of her spunky sassy personality comes out everyday. She made so much progress at hydrotherapy. She is even swimming without a life vest as of this week! Thank you to everyone who donated to her care and has been cheering her on!"