Little Cara Bideau was outside playing when she heard an unusual noise coming from beneath the ground. Cara carefully brushed away a pile of rocks and lifted a heavy wooden pallet just enough to see a dog shaking at the bottom of a small hole. The dog, an elderly female Boxer, looked like she was in pretty bad shape, so Cara ran home to get her father, hoping he would know what to do.
Cara’s father, Kenny Bideau, tells the Belfast Telegraph that he was shocked after his daughter led him to the hole where the poor dog lay cowering. Little Cara thought the dog must’ve taken a tumble into the hole, but from the looks of it, Kenny says he knew right away what had happened.
“Cara came home and said a pup had fallen down a manhole, but when I went with her to where the dog was I could see that wasn’t the case at all,” Kenny explains. “This was an adult dog that was left to starve to death down this concrete hole.”
Kenny says that a large wooden pallet had been purposefully placed over the opening of the hole so the elderly Boxer would have no chance of escaping. Someone then laid rocks on top to weigh the pallet down.
Even more startling was the dog’s appearance, Kenny says.
“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,” Kenny remembers. “It is beyond my understanding how anyone could be this callous.”
Kenny and Cara brought the emaciated dog home, where they fed her and let her get some much-needed rest.
“We kept her at home that night and let her sleep on the sofa because she was clearly exhausted and distressed,” says Kenny, whose 15-year-old son Ethan slept in the living room with the Boxer all night to comfort her.
The next morning, Cara and Kenny contacted the Rainbow Rescue and Rehoming Centre, a local animal rescue group, to report the dog they saved and the conditions in which the dog was discovered.
Staff at the rescue are hailing young Cara’s actions.
“The dog was left to die down that hole and it would have died if little Cara hadn’t gone and told her daddy,” says Rainbow Rehoming Centre founder Helen Davies.
Davies says an examination of the dog confirmed she was in very poor health.
“The dog is just in a really bad way and her teeth are all broken or worn away,” Davies explains. “Somebody has suggested she might have been chained up and may have been biting at the chain.”
It became clear the dog was also used for breeding many times, and likely gave birth to many profitable litters. The rescue believes whoever put the blind Boxer in the concrete hole probably tried to dispose of the dog when she became too old and feeble to breed.
“We do not know who put her in the hole but we do have evidence that she was neglected over a long period of time and that she was used exhaustively for breeding. It seems whoever did that has made an awful lot of money out of her as Boxer pups could be sold for maybe £300 [$500],” Davies says.
“We reckon she deserves to be shown some love after what she has been through, and she is very gentle and affectionate,” Kenny says of his family’s new four-legged friend.
According to the Londonderry Sentinel, Bella’s harrowing tale of despair and rescue has moved people all over the world, reaching more than 450,000 people in only 24 hours.
“We would like to thank everyone who sent messages of concern and well wishes for her and to everyone who donated to Bella,” says Davies. “She has touched the hearts of many including our own.”
It will take a lot of TLC until Bella’s in good enough health to go up for adoption, and her medical bills are piling up. The Rainbow Rescue and Rehoming Centre is collecting donations to help cover Bella’s care. Visit the “Ways to Help” link on the rescue’s website to make a contribution.