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.

One Comment

  1. Finally managed to get to forums on petfinder.

    bella’s info is posted on their lost and found section.

    Nikkos Mom

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