Dog News

Bella the Special Needs Dog Helps Nathan Heal

by Katherine

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We know of many dogs that have been on the verge of death only to make a remarkable recovery and go on to live a life with purpose. (Remember Gunny, Xena, and  Misty). Well, Bella, the 2-year-old Pitbull, from a Craigslist ad, is our latest four-legged hero.

The Craiglist dog was previously named Kavona, but the Contreras family from Tucson, Ariz., adopted her in 2012 and changed her name to Bella. “She is just so beautiful inside and out,” said Lesli Contreras.

With the help of a Good Samaritan, Bella’s special needs adoption was made possible, and the Contreras family’s life as well as Bella’s changed for the better.

Nathan and Bella
Nathan and Bella


You see, the Contreras’ 8-years-old son named Nathan, suffers from cystic fibrosis and her rarely is able to leave the family home. Nathan had always wanted the companionship of a dog or cat, but selecting the right pet for him had been difficult.

In April of 2012 the family found Bella on a Craigslist ad and she was later placed at the Pima Animal Care Center (PACC). However, the pitbull was on the list to be euthanized.

“The second my husband saw this beautiful, scared, starved abused dog that was skin and bones…could barely walk…he said she’s a good one.” Lesli told CNN News. “I trust my husband so the next day we came back to get her.”

Bella suffered from Valley Fever and she would need extensive and expensive medical care and medications. Upon learning this, Lesli grew worried that the medical costs for Bella would be too much to take on. The family was already struggling to pay Nathan’s own medical bills.

“I felt terrible, like there was no way we would be able to take it on,” said Lesli. “I called my husband at work…told him how sorry I was, but that maybe he could pick out another dog that was healthier. [I told the adoption coordinator] we were sorry but it didn’t seem like that could possibly work. We felt terrible, because we knew she’d be killed. Nathan said ‘No mom, I don’t want a dog to die because of me.'”

On that very moment, a woman more than 100 miles away called PACC. Her name was Pattie, she was calling form Goodyear, Ariz., and she wanted to help with Bella’s adoption.

“She was a rescuer/mom and all around good guy (good gal),” sad Lesli. “[Pattie] said if anyone comes in to please give them her contact, she’d help if they would just take the dog.”

Just like that Bella and the Contreras family received a blessing and since that day their lives have not been the same.

Pattie and her network of animal lovers raised enough funds to cover Bella’s medical needs and food costs.

When Bella first arrived home she had a fractured back leg and couldn’t even walk more than a few steps, but hanks to the donations, the loving dog now runs and plays as if she had never been injured.

“Nathan has a feeding tube, and [Bella is] super gentle with him, said Lesli. “She has been a lifesaver because Nathan really needs friendship. I know it has blessed our family and I feel like we’re more of a complete family.”

To learn more about Nathan and Bella you can follow them on the Facebook page, Twitter account or blog.