Remembering Bella


Remember Bella?  They still haven’t found her, but as far as I can tell, they are still looking.  There is information about the trial up on the Bella page.

It still boggles my mind that part of the problem with prosecuting this piece of shit is that “from the standpoint of felony liability, the DA had to prove Animal Control had clearly made the defendant aware he had an aggressive dog, or prove it had bitten before.  Regardless of what had happened in the previous attacks, Animal Control was not able to show they had clearly educated the defendant about the aggressive potential of his dog, even after 3 aggressive dog calls. “

If you decide to get a dog, I believe that by the very action of bringing a dog into your life, you are accepting the responsibility to educate yourself about your dog, it’s potential for damage and what you need to do to control it.  If this “man” can’t be expected to know that his dog is aggressive and uncontrolled, then why isn’t he in diapers and a playpen with all the other people who can’t be expected to take responsibility for their actions?

Bella’s owners, Steve and Terri Belsley and their new rescue dog, Sammy, live in San Jose, but this is an issue that should unite responsible dog owners everywhere.  I realize that judges have to operate within the law, but the point is that the law should never protect someone from being punished for not doing their duty by their dog.

What can we do about this?  Off the top of my head, I can think of a few things: Take an active role in dog ownership in your community.  Attend city meetings that concern dog owners and keep lobbying for stronger laws against irresponsible dog ownership.  Support laws that focus on the owners, not the breed or type of dog involved – we cannot afford to have the finger pointing in any other direction other than the people who choose to own dogs and not care for them as they should be cared for.

Is there anything I’m missing?  What else can we do or have done to protect ourselves and our dogs from malicious people who use their dogs as weapons?


Bella’s latest

Remember Bella, the Shiba who was attacked by a loose pit bull and is still missing?  Here’s the latest from her owner, Terri: Court update from 18 February 2009, Update on Sammy, and thanks to all of you

An excerpt:

However, from the standpoint of felony liability, the DA had to prove Animal Control had clearly made the defendant aware he had an aggressive dog, or prove it had bitten before.  Regardless of what had happened in the previous attacks, Animal Control was not able to show they had clearly educated the defendant about the aggressive potential of his dog, even after 3 aggressive dog calls.

Excuse me?  There isn’t a “Fucking Moron” clause somewhere that states when someone gets a dog, it is THEM, not the local government’s responsibility to educate themselves in the aggressive potential of their dog and adequate control measures? If this man had to be legally told, after several attacks and complaints, that his dog was aggressive and he should keep it under control, legally he should be kept in a diaper, his driver’s license taken away, and all of his possessions kept in trust for him, since he so obviously is mentally incompetent to keep them properly and responsibly.  (Come to think of it, that would be a great response to irresponsible dog owners.)

How is it that a dog owner who fails to do their duty to their dog and to their society is protected from punishment?  Why are people standing idly by and twiddling their thumbs with breed-specific-legislation while people like this CHOOSE to let their dogs run loose, to display aggressive behaviour and to inflict violence on people and animals alike? How fucking stupid ARE these people, who continue to whine about the “vicious pit bulls” and “savage rottweilers” and ignore the vicious, savage members of their own species who wilfully put them and their loved ones in danger?

Seems to me that our so-called intellectual superiority isn’t something we should boast of, when we aid and abet these criminals by refusing to consider their choice to endanger us  – and the animals who depend on them –  as the very serious of crimes.



Well, Tierce is much better on the Cyclosporine, although I’m not a fan of giving him a pill that requires an anti-nausea pill to keep it in him. Here he is next to one of many jellyfish that washed up on the shore beside Departure Bay Terminal (BC Ferries).

Shassi (forgot to get a picture tonight) is… a 15 year old dog. My aunt took her to one of the best vets in Nanaimo and got a complete blood panel done. Verdict: Shassi is in good shape for a 15 year old dog, but her kidneys are failing. Not entirely an unforeseen thing. Fortunately, my aunt is determined to take care of her and is feeding her the lowest-protein dog food that she can find.

Katana, the subject of my last post is, according to Petfinder, still looking for a home.

Bella, the Shiba missing since this April, is still at large.

Wow, lots of good news, huh? Well, I’m just glad that Tierce isn’t scratching as much and he can stop wearing the cone most of the time!


It’s about damn time

Pit-bull owner charged with felony

It’s a pity the dog was euthanized and not the owner is all I have to say about this. Bella is still at large but we’re all hoping that she makes it back home.


Bella Website

Bella Website

Get updates on Bella here!


More on Bella

Goldston: Owners seek help in searching for their dog
Linda Goldston
Mercury News
Article Launched: 05/03/2008 01:33:46 AM PDT

Terri and Steve Belsley would give anything to get their dog, Bella, a Shiba Inu, back home.

They have searched non-stop since April 11, when Bella ran off after she and Steve were attacked by a pit bull about a block from their home, in the Thousand Oaks neighborhood of San Jose between Branham and Capitol.

They were attacked by an unneutered male pit bull running loose.

“We learned this was the third time this animal had tried to attack people,” said Terri, who cried as we talked.

I understand completely. Her dog is missing – missing through no fault of hers, or her husband, or the dog.

So far no charges have been filed, but the pit bull was euthanized. It’s sad for that dog, sad for the Belsleys, and terrifying and sad for Bella.

Yes, there are good pit bulls who have been socialized and trained. They are owned by people who care and accept the responsibility of having a powerful dog. The jerks who own dangerous dogs should be prosecuted. And after they get out of jail, they should be banned from ever owning a dog again.

Terri and Steve can’t even think about getting over the attack. Not with Bella still missing and Steve still recovering from his injuries.

Steve suffered major injuries on his arms and hands, including 20 bites, one nearly to the bone. He was rushed to the hospital, and Bella was seen limping off.

There have been several sightings of Bella, and Terri is hopeful they can bring her home. The
thought of life without the dog who turned 3 on April Fool’s Day, “our little April Fool’s baby,” is unthinkable.

Terri said two sightings occurred last weekend near Willow Glen High School, three to four miles from their home. Other sightings were at Hellyer Park and on Yerba Buena Avenue.

With the help of a search dog, Terri feels sure Bella has been in those places. Food, blankets and pieces of clothing with Terri and Steve’s scents have been left in the hope that Bella will return to those sites.

People who saw the dog told Terri that Bella looks confused and scared.

Numerous folks have helped in the search, but the Belsleys hope more volunteers will step forward today to help. The couple is planning a search that will start at 10 a.m. at their house, 3859 Thousand Oaks Drive in San Jose.

Terri suspects that Bella might be traveling along creek paths, emerging to find food.

Terri had just gotten home after an eight-day stay in the hospital when the attack happened, and Steve still doesn’t have the use of one hand. So they’re really hoping they can get some help in today’s search.

“She’s terrified from the attack,” Terri said. “I know she’s out there. We just have to find her.”

Bella is black and tan and stands about 12 inches high. She weighs about 25 pounds and has pointy ears and a corkscrew tail.

The couple have been careful with Bella, placing double locks on their backyard gate and even keeping Bella’s tag on a separate collar, in case the one attached to her leash slipped off.

They didn’t deserve what happened. But they do deserve to get their dog back.

If you see a dog who might be Bella, call the Belsleys at (408) 891-4239. They are offering a $1,000 reward.


**Volunteers Needed To Help Find Bella** (near Almaden Exp & Branham)

** PLEASE HELP US FIND BELLA…VOLUNTEERS NEEDED** Bella is the Shiba Inu attacked, along w/her owner in her neighborhood, by a pit bull roaming loose on 4/11. See attached SJMN article. We’ve had multiple sighting as recent as 4/26 and need your help to have an all-out search to get the word out and bring her home safely. We need volunteers to help search for Bella on Saturday 5/3 at 10 AM, starting at 3859 Thousand Oaks Dr, San Jose. We will have flyers and maps with the latest sightings to focus on. All volunteers and help is truly appreciated. We know she’s out there and needs your help to find her way back home where she belongs. Please be part of bringing Bella home safe. Thank you, Terri & Steve


We are still looking for Bella

Repost from email:

The Belsleys are still looking for Bella, the Shiba, in the San Jose, CA area. Bella went missing on 4/11/08 when she and her owner were attacked by a roaming pit bull. Yesterday, there was a possible sighting of Bella in the general area of an earlier sighting. They are bringing in a scent dog to do area search today of this area .Tomorrow they will meeting at the Belsley’s house at 1:00 p.m. to do another area search with people. They have notified media of the Sunday search.

People interested in supporting the Belsley’s search effort tomorrow (Sunday) should contact them at (remove space):



Search is still on for Sunday at 1pm at our house. Making more fliers and posters today, along w/searching. Left message w/local stations and paper…if you have time to call, please do, as I think the more people they here from the better chance they’ll cover.

Had a possible sighting last night near Lincoln Ave. and Coe….about 1 mile from last sighting and 5 mile from our house. Search dog coming this afternoon to check for scent, so we can increase searching in that area tomorrow with the help of more people. Any help in passing the info on via internet etc. is appreciated. I am encouraged by last evening’s sighting, we were out late looking and my husband went back this a.m. Hoping she will return to that area. Thanks again for helping to bring Bella home safe.


Bella still missing

Craigslist Lost Ad

$$1000-Reward$$ – Lost Shiba Inu – dogs – looks like a black fox (near Branham & Almaden Exp, San Jose)
Reply to:
Date: 2008-04-20, 8:24AM PDT

Lost female Shiba Inu dog, black with tan color, small to medium size, 251bs, curly tail, pointed ears, looks like a black fox, may be injured. Name is Bella. Lost Friday night, 4/11. Last spotted running down Edenbury Ln and and recently near Willow Glen HS. Could be anywhere in the greater south San Jose area or surrounding communities. $$ 1000 Reward $$ offered. 408-891-4239 any time, day or night. View SJ Mercury News article for additional info:

Thanks to Gail for letting me know about this.


Missing Shiba Alert

Dog is missing after pit bull attacks her and her owner
By Joshua Molina
Mercury News
Article Launched: 04/14/2008 01:33:48 AM PDT

For the last three years, Bella, a shiba inu dog with deep brown eyes, pointed ears and a corkscrew tail, slept peacefully every night on her fluffed-up down pillow next to Terri and Steve Belsley.

But Friday night, Bella never came home.

“It is like a surreal nightmare,” Terri Belsley said. “We let this dog become our life. Nothing is going to seem normal until we find Bella and bring her home safe.”

The black and tan dog hasn’t been seen since she was last spotted hobbling away on Edenbury Lane, about a block from Thousand Oaks Drive in San Jose, after an altercation with dog that animal control identified as a pit bull.

The San Jose Police Department responded to the attack and the pit bull was seized by animal control.

The chaos ensued when Steve Belsley was walking Bella as part of the frisky dog’s nightly ritual. The pit bull, said Belsley’s, wife, Terri, charged the two.

When the violent and frightening encounter ended a few seconds later, Steve Belsley had more than a dozen dog bites on his left arm, and a huge gash in his forearm where “the dog practically bit him to the bone,” Terri Belsley said. He also tore a tendon in his hand that will require surgery. He spent several hours at the emergency room at Good Samaritan Hospital.

And Bella has disappeared.

“We don’t know how badly she is injured,” Terri Belsley said. “We are concerned that if she is injured or scared that she is holed up in
a bush.”

Neighbors spent the weekend posting fliers with the dog’s picture. Some of the rescue crews stayed out as late as 5 a.m. looking for the dog, which stands about 10 to 12 inches tall and weighs 25 pounds.

Animal control has also been looking for Bella. The pit bull’s fate was unclear on Sunday night. The Belsleys said they were told the dog had been destroyed. The dog’s owner did not return Mercury News calls on Sunday.

“The neighborhood has come out in droves,” said nearby resident Sharon Freitas. “To Terri, it’s like she’s missing a child.”

Contact Joshua Molina at or (408) 275-2002

I’m not so concerned about the pit bull as I am about the owner. What the hell is someone who carelessly let their dog run loose doing… loose? Why aren’t these people arrested as accessories to manslaughter or assault with a deadly weapon? In a different reality, the pit bull could have been responsibly contained and Bella would be at home. Until society starts treating irresponsible owners like the menace they are, they will continue behaving irresponsibly towards their dogs.

I hope Bella is reunited quickly with her family.