A Tiffy Taffy Highlight Story: Sometimes there are stories that are just too memorable, too important, or too touching to keep locked away. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to experience again. They may make you smile or shed a tear, but they’re always meant to inspire you in all the right ways.
In 2014, while six-year-old Cara Bideau played outside her home in the United Kingdom she made an alarming discovery. An injured boxer dog lay trapped at the bottom of a concrete hole, where she was tossed away among the garbage. Cara ran home and brought her father, Kenny, to the hole. He was appalled at the sight.
“Cara came home and said a pup had fallen down a manhole, but when I went with her back to where the dog was I could see that wasn’t the case at all,” he said. “This was an adult dog that was left to starve to death down this concrete hole.”
Saving a Dog Left for Dead
Not only was the boxer, named Bella, left to die, but she also had no chance to escape. “A wooden pallet had been placed over the hole and rocks put on top to keep it there so that the poor dog couldn’t get out,” said Kenny.
However, the cruel handling of this animal became more obvious once he rescued her.
“I was even more shocked when I freed the dog to see how her ribs were sticking out, so it had been quite a while since she had eaten, and then to top it off, we found out she was blind. It is beyond my understanding how anyone could be this callous.”
He and Cara took Bella home to try and help her recover. “We are a family of animal lovers and have a dog ourselves, so we took her home with us and gave her a tin of food, which she gulped down in under 15 seconds.”
The family tried to make Bella feel as comfortable as possible but they eventually had to contact the professionals. “We kept her at home that night and let her sleep on the sofa because she was clearly exhausted and distressed. In fact, my 15-year-old son Ethan slept on the other sofa to help her settle before we contacted the Rainbow Centre.”
Read: Dog suffering from ‘broken heart’ after owner’s death can’t find a home
Finding a Forever Home
Rainbow Homing Center helps rescue cats and dogs in the Londonderry and the North West area. They provide shelter, veterinary attention, and find loving homes for all of their rescues. Helen Davis took Bella’s case and brought her to the vet. There she discovered that it’s likely Bella was used for breeding — that is until she no longer could.
“The vet has found evidence that this dog was bred and bred and bred until she could no longer produce pups,” said Davis. “She is emaciated so we can only guess how long she had been left in this concrete grave and left to starve to death.”
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Davis has seen this kind of situation. “I have lost count of the number of times we have come across instances like this boxer dog where animals have been used to churn out pups for sale by people who run puppy farms, and they are getting away with it.” 
Despite all she has gone through, Bella remained “very gentle and affectionate,” according to Kenny. She was taken in by a foster home until she was adopted by her forever family. Unfortunately, Bella died a year later, in 2015, surrounded by her loving family. However, her story brings light to a very important issue.
Read: German Shepherd Who Has Been Lost For 5 Weeks At Sea, Miraculously Found Alive
How to Help a Stray Animal
It’s not uncommon to find a stray animal in need of help. Sometimes, it looks like a lost pet with a collar. But sometimes, the animal looks injured and sick. What should you do to help?
First of all, exercise caution. It might be unclear if the animal was well-trained or if it’s running wild. If the animal seems threatening, don’t approach it and instead call local rescue services or police if there is no animal control agency. If you try to approach it, speak calmly, move slowly, and entice them with food. Once you are able to reach it, contain it using a carrier, leash, or barrier of some kind. 
After that, you can bring it to a nearby rescue shelter or animal hospital. At the same time, update animal control on the situation, in case the owner had already contacted them, and keep any form of ID, like tags or collars. The animal could also have a microchip that links to the owner. You could also post notices around the area and online about the found pet. Often, owners look for lost pets at the local animal shelter.
In the meantime, you can bring the animal to a nearby shelter or bring it home until the owner contacts you. If that doesn’t happen, you can re-home the animal or adopt it yourself. 
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