Update: Bella is still outside, but she has a doghouse! Here is what was shared on Facebook by the Animal Rescue League of Iowa:
On Tuesday (11/24), Josh Colvin, who oversees our Cruelty Intervention department, received a call from a concerned citizen that a dog in Hardin county was in need of a warm dog house. After talking with the Hardin County Sheriff, we made the 2 hour round-trip drive on Wednesday (11/25) to deliver a custom-built dog house, bale of straw, and a care package of treats and toys.
Bella’s owners were out of town for Thanksgiving, but the Sheriff was able to convince them to accept our offer of a better insulated house, so accompanied by the Sheriff and the neighbors who were caring for her while they were gone, we set-up the dog house, straw, and gave Bella her new treats & toys. She was so happy she kept running in and out of her new house, licking Josh’s hand each time as she ran out. We told both the Sheriff and the neighbors to share with the new owners that if they need ANYTHING else, to call us and we will be happy to make the drive again to help.
A dog named Bella has spent three long years chained behind a large comfortable house in Providence, Iowa. Her only shelter is a rudimentary metal hog cover. No insulation, no straw, no blankets — nothing to protect her from the blistering hot summers and the brutally cold winter. And in the past few years, winters have been horrendously cold. It’s a miracle that she hasn’t died.
People might wonder if those responsible for Bella’s care can’t afford to provide better accommodations for her (besides the obvious and humane choice of bringing her into the house like a normal, caring family might do). A group called The Fence Project offered an insulated dog house — free of charge — and the family refused the doghouse. The Facebook post said “They brought a really nice insulated doghouse and got the door slammed in their face for their troubles.” People have offered to buy Bella from them for $500. They have refused.
When pictures taken days after a snow fall showed no tracks leading to Bella’s prison, the sheriff was asked to visit to check that she had food and water. Miraculously, food and water appeared. Bella, unsocialized and alone, barks loudly whenever anyone approaches so those who would help her (by making sure she has food and water), cannot even approach her. Those who care believe that the only way to help Bella is to make the officials who run the town of Providence aware that the world is watching. Does the town of Providence care about its most helpless residents? Pass a law outlawing chaining a dog for more than four hours. Pass a law requiring humane housing (and spelling out what that might be). Watch for a time when Bella doesn’t have fresh water and take her away. Do SOMETHING. People are watching.
There are more pictures in the article by Dodo.com and on the Facebook thread about Bella. One picture shows that while the backyard looks rural, the house is really in an area surrounded by other homes — a neighborhood. The Dodo.com article asks that people contact the mayor, Lou Shafer, and let him know how you feel about Bella’s plight. His phone number is listed on the comment as 515-899-7736, and an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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