It’s a sad fact that in many countries around the world, there are people without the knowledge or resources to take good care of domesticated animals like cats and dogs. Those animals reproduce uncontrolled, get sick, and transmit parasites. Fortunately there are great organizations that rescue animals from abusive situations and provide medical treatment as well.
One such example is CLAW (Community Led Animal Welfare) in South Africa.
One of their stories, while hardly unique, shows us how extreme an animal’s suffering can get when they don’t receive adequate care. Volunteers from CLAW found Belle completely neglected by her owner. They could hardly believe it: all over her head were countless ticks.
The ticks had consumed so much blood from Belle that she’d become anemic. They rushed her to a canine shelter and began a treatment regime.
There were simply too many ticks to remove them one by one, and Belle could have bled to death if they had tried. So the vets gave her an anti-parasite medicine. It paralyzed the ticks, causing them to come loose from Belle’s skin after a few days and die.

Then Belle’s truly shocking condition was exposed. She was treated further with vitamins and antibiotics, since she also suffered from bacterial infections and a kennel cough that often affects stray dogs. Little by little she began to improve, eating normal food again and regaining her mobility.
Despite her story on the CLAW page being shared thousands of times, it’s hard to attract someone to adopt a dog in her condition. But finally one young girl was so impressed by Belle’s survival that she contacted them and asked if she could have this traumatized dog.
Belle’s improvement in her new home was simply remarkable. She slowly recovered and her new owner shared her progress on social media. At first she was afraid to walk, climb stairs, or even eat. But within a month, she’d gained confidence. Here we see her with her new best friend:
Some animal rescue stories leave us with tears in our eyes, but thanks to a great animal welfare organization and a very generous new owner, we can all share the relief Belle must feel as she gets used to her new life.
CLAW, just so you know, is also suing her former owners — a good step not just to achieve justice for Belle but also so people know that they can’t get away with treating animals like this.
Keep going, little Belle. It'll just keep getting better from here!

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