Throw-Away Puppy Finds New, Happy Home
Bella is an 11-week-old boxer-Labrador mix with a golden-brown coat. She loves to run and play with other dogs, and she's always up for a good scratch behind the ears.
Bella is also a throwaway puppy. Her previous owner placed her in a trash bag and threw her into a pond in a heavily wooded area off Stanton Hill Road in Cameron.
Nearly a month ago, William McIntosh was taking a walk around the pond when he heard the cries of an animal coming from a trash bag in the water. He pulled the bag out of the water and discovered an 8-week-old puppy inside.
"That is sad someone could do something like that," McIntosh said.
McIntosh couldn't keep the puppy because he has two dogs of his own. So he took the dog to the Moore County Animal Shelter, with hopes that someone would adopt the dog and give it a good home.
Lisa Bridge, of the Moore County Animal Shelter, remembers the dog well.
"We all just carried that baby around," Bridge said. "We just fell in love with her."
Animal shelter attendant Craig Rogers handled the dog's case.
"We gave it fluids to help it re-hydrate itself," he said.
Originally, the dog stayed in the cat room because she was too small for the larger dog kennels at the shelter.
Rogers remembers the dog as a "very sweet little character."
"I knew I could get it adopted within minutes," Rogers said. "But we still had to keep an eye on it to make sure it was healthy when we let it out of here."
A day after the dog came to the shelter, Tina Kissell, administrator for student services with the Moore County school system and wife of U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, walked into the office looking to adopt a dog.
The Kissells have always enjoyed a house full of dogs - mostly golden retrievers and Labradors. Two of the family's black Labrador retrievers died earlier this year, and Tina Kissell was hoping to adopt a puppy for her 17-year-old daughter, Aspen.
"There were pups, but I knew my daughter wanted something tiny - for a while at least!" Kissell said.
After she finished looking through the kennels, Kissell still wasn't convinced she had found the right dog.
"Honey, I've got the perfect one for you," Rogers says he told her.
He left the office and soon returned with a small brown puppy peering out over his arm. Kissell remembers the dog shaking in fear when Rogers brought her out.
"She was so afraid," Kissel said. "She was afraid they were going to throw her again."
Kissell and her husband adopted the dog a few days later. Their daughter named the dog "Bella," inspired by the character from the popular "Twilight" series.
Tina Kissell says the dog lives up to its name with its pointy teeth that love to chew.
"Bite, bite, bite! Just like a vampire," she laughed.
Larry Kissell remembers picking Bella up from the shelter.
"It was love at first sight," he said. "With a puppy face like that, we instantly knew who was in charge."
Now, a few weeks later, Bella loves playing with the family's other dogs - Snickers, a dog that Larry Kissell recently adopted from a Guilford County shelter; Oreo, a Jack Russell terrier; and Bubba, a golden retriever.
With a sweet face and a lot of spunk, she has captured the hearts of her new family.
"Bella's a little dream come true," Tina Kissell said. "She's become an integral part of our family."
Bella's rescue is a happy ending to a potentially sad story of animal abuse.
While Moore County Animal Control has no leads on who threw the dog into the pond, larger forces are creating tougher consequences for those who are caught abusing animals. Gov. Bev Perdue this week signed "Susie's Law," which toughens penalties for individuals charged with killing, starving, torturing or maliciously abusing animals.
The law was inspired by the story of an abused pit bull-shepherd mix named Susie. A year ago, a Greensboro man beat the dog, set it on fire and left it to die. The man only received probation for the act.
The law elevates starving an animal to death from a misdemeanor to a felony and makes animal torture a higher-grade felony.
McIntosh was happy to learn that the dog he rescued from the pond has found a good home.
"To know someone got it that would take care of it feels good," he said.
He says that he sees many -animal abandonment or "throwaway" cases in the area, often in the form of people dropping dogs off on the side of the road.
"I pick every one up and take it to Animal Control," he said.
Contact Hannah Sharpe by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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