At first rescuers weren’t sure what condition she might have that would cause all the bumps to sprout all over her, but when they looked closer they realized that the bumps weren’t a skin condition. They were thousands and thousands of ticks who had grown fat sucking the blood from Belle. For the issue to have grown to this degree would have taken months, if not years. It was bad enough that she was anemic and suffering from tick bite fever. Belle had been in pain for quite a while.
Perhaps worst of all, Belle hadn’t been a stray. She had been someone’s pet. She came into the care of CLAW when they were called to pick her up from the home where she had been kept. She had been living with an extremely neglectful family who had allowed her condition to progress to this point for a long, long time without intervention.
Removing the ticks would have to be done carefully. CLAW was worried removing too many at once would cause Belle to hemorrhage and die, so the decision was made to give her a strong anti-parasitic medicine that would let the ticks die and fall off. The process would take a little longer but be safer in the end for Belle.
In just a few days the ticks were gone and Belle was feeling much better. CLAW announced that she was ready to find a new home where she would be taken care of. Hannah paid Belle a visit at the shelter and was touched by the poor, broken pup. She told Happy Tails Magazine:
“As I approached the kennel, my heart sank. The black, seemingly lifeless body was curled up in the corner, drip attached to her leg, a bowl of water nearby, ears and face scarred from all the ticks. I proceeded to stroke and cuddle her.
“The breaking point occurred when Taren told me that Belle had not yet received a single visitor or adoption offer. It was then that I asked for the adoption papers… It was a spontaneous (and slightly risky) decision, but this dog had stolen my heart and there was no going back. “
Hannah saw past the patchy fur and scars and wanted to open her home and her heart to Belle.
Hannah is a volunteer with CLAW and other organizations. She loves animals and the outdoors, so Belle gets plenty of time outside with her person, without having to live in the elements. After a long life of neglect, just a few days in the shelter turned everything around for Belle! She and Hannah are living happily together. Her fur has grown back and you’d never guess she had ever been in such poor shape!
“Just over a month later and Belle is practically a new dog. She is no longer anaemic, her kennel cough has gone, all the dead ticks and scabs have fallen off, and healthy jet-black hair is growing over the scars. She redistributes socks and shoes around the house but she does not chew them. She enjoys the garden. She enjoys her sisters. She runs to greet family members when they come home. She is first in line when she hears the food bowls being prepared. And she wags her tail (in a circular motion instead of side to side) whilst she eats.
“With a little bit of love, Belle’s happy, bouncy, and incredibly clumsy nature is now prominent. Belle has found her forever home… and what a blessing that is for us. “