It isn’t the size of the hero that matters. It’s the size of the heart in the hero.
Six-year-old Cara Bideau was playing outside her home when she heard a strange noise. Thinking it might be a friend playing a trick or perhaps someone in need, Cara decided to explore.
She searched until she found where the noise was coming from. Beneath a pile of wooden pallets with a large stone on top. It took a lot of effort, but Cara was finally able to move the stone and the wood.
What she saw lying at the bottom of the hole that the wood had covered astounded her. She quickly raced away and went to get her father, Kenny.
She told him that a dog had fallen into a hole and needed their help. When they arrived back at the hole, her father gasped at what he saw at the bottom. A frail, emaciated boxer lay amid debris in the bottom of a concrete pit.
His heart sank realizing that it had been no accident that put her there. He didn’t want his daughter to realize just yet how cruel humans can be, so he kept his thoughts to himself.
Later in an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Kenny said: “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. This was an adult dog that was left to starve to death down this concrete hole.”
“It is beyond my understanding how anyone could be this callous.”
He quickly set about getting the dog out of the pit. First he lowered himself down into the hole.
His anger grew quickly as he realized the poor dog was completely blind. How horrifying, to be tossed into a small hole without even the ability to see where she was or be able to attempt to get out.
He squelched his anger though and worked to get the dog that his daughter had already named Bella out of the hole.
Cara had known that her hero, her father, could do anything. So, Cara watched as her father carefully lifted the boxer and carried her to safer ground.
Kenny could feel the dog’s ribs through her fur as he lifted her, and he told the Telegraph that “it was clear it had been quite a while since she had eaten.”
Luckily, Kenny knew just the way to remedy that. He and Cara brought the struggling pooch home and emptied out an entire tin of dog food.
The boxer scarfed the whole meal down in under fifteen seconds! The Bideau family decided the best course of action would be to shelter Bella for the night. She had been through enough trauma and drama for one day.
Bella seemed to realize she was safe now. She immediately curled up and went to sleep on the bed the family had prepared for her.
The next day, the Bideaus contacted the Rainbow Rehoming Centre, a Northern Ireland non-profit dedicated to finding good homes for unwanted animals.
“We are a family of animal lovers,” Kenny Bideau said. Certainly, the legacy of love is continuing with Cara, as proven by her instant knowledge of Bella’s distress and the desire to remove it.
Helen Davies, Kenny’s aunt—and the founder of Rainbow Rehoming—commented on Bella as well: “This dog was left to die down that hole, and [she] would have died if little Cara hadn’t gone and told her daddy. The dog is just in a really bad way and her teeth are all broken or worn away.”
Helen continued, “We do not know who put her in the hole,” Helen added, “But we do have evidence that she was neglected over a long period of time and that she was used exhaustively for breeding.”
The reason for Bella’s worn teeth was even more horrific…
Animal rescuers see such time-worn teeth in the mouths of dogs that have lived their whole lives on a chain. Their attempts to remove themselves from the torture of being in a small confined area dragging a heavy chain does irreparable damage to their teeth over time.
Poor Bella had almost certainly lived her entire life in a situation created to produce lots of puppies strictly for profit. Bella’s owners had been able to make thousands of untaxed dollars by selling Bella’s puppies, as well as the puppies from possibly hundreds of other dogs, for $400 each or more.
Once Bella became too old to produce puppies, as well as being blind and unhealthy, she was discarded like so much garbage. They didn’t even have the decency to euthanize her humanely. They left her in a hole to die of starvation and dehydration.
Thank goodness for little Cara and her daddy!
A thorough check by a veterinarian showed that Bella had indeed been pregnant many times. She had likely never received any prenatal or postnatal care. That put her at a high risk for pyometra, an infection found often in an over-used uterus.
The family was very willing to help cover Bella’s medical costs as much as possible. But even more important than healing her was to find her abusers so more dogs wouldn’t suffer Bella’s fate.
Besides the physical abuse that goes on in a puppy mill such as the one that had almost killed Balla, Helen had a lot more to say about the unregulated nature of breeding and selling pups.
“It also bothers me that these people don’t pay any tax on that. There are millions of pounds being made in this country every year from such breeders, and they are usually selling pups that are not at all well.” The puppies are oftentimes raised from parents that are genetically and physically unsound and unhealthy.
Bella and Cara’s story served as a prudent reminder that, sometimes, heroes can come in tiny packages. Had Cara not acted so quickly, Bella’s fate would have been even more gruesome.
After Cara found Bella and saving her life, the rehoming center posted the story on Facebook. They reminded more than 750,000 viewers about the horrors of puppy mills.
After receiving some medical care and getting a lot of hearty meals, the Rainbow Rehoming Centre placed Bella into a foster care rehabilitation program. There, Bella received the love she had been missing for a lifetime—and even briefly reunited with her heroes, the Bideaus!
Before long it was time to offer Bella for permanent adoption. It didn’t take long before a lucky family claimed her as their own.
The best part of the new family?
A big brother named Sunny who has become Bella’s “seeing eye dog.”
They are enjoying life knowing that no one wants anything from them except their love. And Bella has plenty of that to give.
Bella has likely blocked the terrible parts of her past from her memory. Now she snoozes on comfy beds in the arms of those who love her. But, we can’t help but be reminded of the thousands of dogs in similar horrific situations that haven’t come across a Cara to save them.
Please, if you are aware of a puppy mill situation, contact the correct authorities. Be a hero. Prove your own legacy of love!
Source: Honest to Paws