We warn you, this story isn't for the faint of heart.
When Belle was surrendered to CLAW (Community Led Animal Welfare) in South Africa, she had the worst tick infestation rescuers had ever seen. There wasn't a patch of fur on or in her ears that a tick wasn't attached to, and they lined her eyes and stuck to her face. Most of the bloodsuckers were so engorged they were the size of grapes, and without help, the dog was left to suffer on her own.
The team at CLAW was astounded by the severity of Belle's condition, but that didn't stop them from dedicating their limited funds and resources to helping her get better. They worked slowly to remove an incredible number of ticks by hand, but there was no way they could get them all in one sitting. The stressed dog needed hours of medical attention, and they relied on donations to help pay for the vital tick spray they used to kill the most determined parasites.
After sharing pictures of Belle on Facebook, it didn't take long for the story to go viral. Belle's plight was known by millions of people across the globe, and they were all quick to offer kind words and monetary donations. What CLAW didn't get a lot of, however, was adoption applications.
Belle, a few days in at the clinic. Thanks to the Fibrotec we were able to purchase through kind support, the plague of ticks she had on her had died and were falling off.
Once Belle was on her way to recovery, she was ready to find a new family that would love and take care of her. Because of her popularity, CLAW expected to receive countless applications for the cute pup, but there was only one.
Hannah Claire van Coller saw Belle's pictures on Facebook and instantly fell in love. She put in her application expecting a lot of competition, but her relationship with the neglected dog seemed meant to be. She jumped at the chance to take Belle home, and they've been a family ever since.
READ MORE: How to Spot Tick Eggs
Now a year after her horrific ordeal, Belle is nearly unrecognizable. Her fur is sleek and shiny, she's always ready to play, and best of all, there's not a single tick on her. She's living the life of a pampered pet with her new owner, and together, they're inspiring their community to help other rescue dogs.
What do you think of Belle's story? Let us know in the comments below.
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