It took only minutes for Bella to break 17 teeth. Her paw is seriously mangled. And her family will have to pay over $5,000 in veterinary bills from a specialist hundreds of kilometres away. The story is sadly familiar: Bella walked into the clutches of a leg-hold trap.
According to the CBC, Peg Pelley of Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador was out with her two dogs in late November. She was within the town limits and on a quiet road when she called back the dogs – and only one returned.
"So I listened and I could hear Bella crying and screeching out," Pelley told the CBC. A passing snowmobiler, John Hudson, found Bella nearby, just off the road with her paw stuck in the trap.
"She was chewing on the trap trying to get out of it,” said Pelley in her interview. “So I got down there and I held her head away from the trap and John did everything in the world to try to get the trap open and of course we were both very upset and she was crying and he couldn't get it open. There's no way he could get it open."
Good Samaritan Hudson retrieved tools and with tremendous effort was able to eventually remove the trap.
Bella and her family will have to fly to Montreal to have several teeth removed – and hopefully the rest saved.
"She was rescued. She was rescue dog,” said Pelley. “And I sort of promised her that nothing would ever hurt her again. But I really feel responsible...It's hard to see her suffer like that. I have a lot of health issues and they're the ones that kept me going when I wanted to give up."
Wildlife officials are investigating the matter but it’s unknown if charges will be laid – let alone the trapper identified.
Help us give Bella and the Pelley family a Merry Christmas by donating to a small fundraiser we’ve created to assist in covering some of the medical and travel costs associated with this tragic incident.
We will send all donations collected through this method to the Pelley family on December 15, 2014.
UPDATE: Hear from Peg Pelley directly on this special episode of Defender Radio!