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Sick Dog Leaves the Streets Behind in Search for New Home

BOSTON, Nov. 17, 2014 – A sick and injured dog who spent years living mostly outside in a Mashpee, Mass.  trailer park is recovering from multiple surgeries to help her overcome a host of health issues, the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center announced today.  “Bella”—an eight-year-old shepherd mix—is now resting at the MSPCA-Cape Cod’s adoption center in Centerville, Mass. before undergoing additional treatment.

Bella’s Long and Painful Odyssey

According to MSPCA-Cape Cod adoption center director Mary Sarah Fairweather, Bella was in terrible condition when she was surrendered to the shelter on Nov. 6.  She had a massively swollen eye—which was so diseased it was ultimately removed—and an orange-sized fatty tumor on her hind left leg.  Moreover, her teeth were in need of cleaning, and she had never been spayed.

“She was a mess,” said Fairweather, who immediately settled the dog into a cage with blankets and food while readying her transport to Angell’s 24-7 Emergency & Critical Care Unit.  “It was immediately apparent that she lived a good deal of her life outside with very little veterinary care.”  Fairweather said the only veterinary record presented during Bella’s surrender was an expired rabies vaccination from 2011.

Photographed just after surgery to remove her cancerous eye and leg tumor, Bella is on the road to recovery (credit: MSPCA-Angell)

Photographed just after surgery to remove her cancerous eye and leg tumor, Bella is on the road to recovery (credit: MSPCA-Angell)

Angell Animal Medical Center to the Rescue
Upon arrival at Angell Bella was evaluated by Dr. Lisa Benson.  Dr. Benson determined that Bella’s swollen and nearly blind left eye would have to be removed because it was damaged beyond repair—and it was later confirmed to be cancerous.  “Bella had multiple medical needs that were neglected for a long time—and she deserved the best care we could give her,” said Dr. Benson.  “We are so glad we were able to help her feel better.  Now she gets to start a new chapter.”

In addition to the eye removal, Angell surgeons removed her leg tumor and spayed Bella while she was under anesthesia.

She is expected to undergo her dental procedure in about a month and Fairweather hopes donors may help offset some of the cost of her care.

An Appeal for Help

Bella’s medical bill has already exceeded $6,000; her dental work is expected to cost an additional $1,000—all of which will be paid by the Guardian Angel Fund, a fund that allows the MSPCA-Cape Cod adoption center to pay for injured or sick animals, from medication and exams to surgery and recovery.

“I urge anyone moved by Bella’s story to consider giving to our Guardian Angel Fund, which helps us with Bella’s ongoing care—and treatment for other animals like her,” said Fairweather.

Anyone interested in donating to the Guardian Angel Fund can do by clicking

After her dental procedure Bella will be placed for adoption.  “This is a dog that’s lived through so much pain and uncertainty and who has never known the security of a roof over head and a warm bed on which to sleep,” said Fairweather.  “We’ll pull out all the stops to find her the best home possible when she is through with her procedures.”

Readers interested in adopting Bella can contact the adoption center directly by emailing

Bella lived the last six years of her life at the trailer park.  She was bought to the adoption center by a relative of her former owner, who recently died.  According to the relative—whose identity is not being released—Bella may have survived the last few years due to handouts from strangers.


The MSPCA-Angell is a national and international leader in animal protection and veterinary medicine and provides direct hands-on care for thousands of animals each year. Founded in 1868, it is the second-oldest humane society in the United States. Services include animal protection and adoption, advocacy, humane education, law enforcement, and world-class veterinary care. The MSPCA-Angell is a private, non-profit organization. It does not receive any government funding nor is it funded or operated by any national humane organization. The MSPCA-Angell relies solely on the support and contributions from individuals who care about animals. Please visit and like us on Facebook at