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Collie-mix Bella needs cancer treatment; Donate for her care

Bella at the animal shelter in Lancaster, California.
Bella at the animal shelter in Lancaster, California.
Southland Colie Rescue.

Sometimes turning a dog into an animal shelter turns out to be the best things for all concerned. That's the case for Bella, a collie mix. She's a collie with health problems that most likely overwhelmed her former family.

Looking at the sable and white Bella, you might think her an overweight smooth collie. When she was a pup, she was identified as a collie-shepherd mix. She was adopted from a high desert county shelter (Lancaster) eight years ago. Her family turned her back in about two months ago because they "couldn't take care of her any more" and she wasn't in good condition.

Bella had large sores on her front paws. She had an ear infection. She was also close to being sixty pounds overweight. When she was pulled from the animal shelter, she weighed in at 138 pounds. That's a lot of dog for either a shepherd or a collie.

Currently, Bella is being fostered by Southland Collie Rescue volunteer Stephen Colley and his wife. The sores on her front feet are healing and her ears are getting better as well. The cost of her lab work which included fungal testing, skin scrapping and a biopsy as well as treatment by an animal dermatologist has reached $2,700.

Unfortunately, that's not where it ends. The biopsy on her sores indicated Bella has a lymphoma in her chest. The bacterial infections came in after the sores broke out. She'll need chemotherapy and a more detailed biopsy. The lymphoma treatments alone will cost at least $1,000. The chemotherapy may mean the difference between a few more years for Bella or euthanasia.

Cancer is not easy to treat in animals. Surely, her original family must have felt overwhelmed with just trying to care for her horrendous open sores. Bella is now being cared for by Southland Collie Rescue, a non-profit organization that is supported by well-meaning collie lovers everywhere.

Bella has, according to her foster parent, Stephen Colley, a wonderful temperament. He writes, "All she wants is to soak up attention from her people. And she never shows the least aggression over being lifted into cars, having pills put down her throat when she couldn’t or wouldn’t eat, or anything else that’s been done to her as part of her exams and treatments. But lately she’s been refusing most or all of her food, though she gets her eighteen and a half daily pills down in Pill Pockets. And she sometimes vomits a few back up."

Southland Collie Rescue, Inc. (SCR) is a nonprofit, all-volunteer group with corporate headquarters and central operations at its “O'Neil's Collie Haven” property in Riverside, California.

Its mission is to rescue every Southern California collie in need. SRC takes in, cares for, and finds loving homes for purebred collies (and collie mixes when possible). The rescued collies may be in shelters, abandoned or given up by owners who can’t or won’t care for them anymore. SRC ensures that every rescued collie is spayed or neutered, current on shots, and checked for health and temperament. SRC also provides whatever medical treatment is necessary – one of SRC's major expenses. Donations are 100 percent tax-deductible.

If you'd like to help defray the cost of Bella's care, you can donate online or by sending a check to:

Southland Collie Rescue
ATTN: Office of the Treasurer
P.O. Box 1596
Brea, CA 92822-1596
You can also donate money online through Just Give ($10 minimum).

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