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 jmolina@mercurynews.com 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.

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