The Transylvania Times -

Community Comes Together To Help 'Bells'


Last updated 3/29/2021 at 2pm

Bells is recovering after suffering from a crushed hip and a pelvis broken in three places. (Courtesy photo)

Bells was named in honor of Christmas after she and her mother were found abandoned in a vacant lot one week before the holiday.

After cowering in her kennel for six weeks in a nearby Animal Shelter, Almost Home Dog Rescue North Carolina (AHDRNC) stepped in to help the Labrador mix start a new life with a loving family.

Since Bells had been forced to fend for herself for more than a year, she was not comfortable at first with people.

A kind local woman quickly stepped up and opened her home and her heart to Bells. Living in a warm and welcoming foster home, Bells responded well to the efforts of her "mom" and AHDRNC volunteers to trust people and accept affection, as well as basic training to ensure her successful placement with a forever family.

After just a few weeks, Bells seemed well adjusted to living with a loving family. She followed her mom around the house and responded well to training. But when a gate was accidently left open, Bells instinctively ran away, back to the lonely life she once had. Almost immediately, volunteers from AHDRNC and the community came together to look for her. Hundreds of posters went up and social media stories were posted.

Everyone was certain she would be found quickly. Safe and sound.

Bells was sighted several times in the Wilson Road area but ran off when well-meaning strangers tried to entice her with soft voices and treats.

Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into a month. An anonymous volunteer ran ads in The Transylvania Times, offering a $250 reward. Sadly, there were no sightings. For a week. Then two.

When hope began to dim – more than six weeks after her flight from her foster home – a gentleman called: "Bells is here. In Hendersonville. I read the phone number on her pink collar." She was more than 30 miles away. Warned she was injured, volunteers rushed to pick her up and take her to the vet.

Bells was very thin and obviously in pain. A local vet recommended an orthopedic specialist. Staff rushed Bells to Upstate Veterinary Hospital in Greenville. The diagnosis was a crushed hip and a pelvis broken in three places. The vet was confident Bells would be able to walk again, but the estimated cost for treatment was $7,000, plus six-to-eight weeks of bed/crate rest.

Bells came through the surgery like the determined, brave little girl she is. Two days later, she was wagging her tail and enjoying a treat or two, despite wearing the "cone of shame." A week later, Bells is back in her foster home, resting many hours a day but able to stand tentatively.

Bells' progress was noted on the Almost Home Dog Rescue N.C. Facebook page, and the community once again came through. Almost $2,000 was raised in two days, with more than $4,000 raised to date.

If you would like to join the many moved by Bells' story, please consider a donation. You can donate on the Almost Home Dog Rescue N.C. Facebook page or send a check to: Almost Home Dog Rescue N.C. P.O. Box 515 Cedar Mountain, NC 28718. Funds raised more than Bells' treatment cost will go to help future homeless pups with medical costs.

P.S. The wonderful family who found Bells refused the reward, so the $250 was donated to AHDRNC.


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