Dog who chewed off her leg to escape adopted by Illinois couple

A dog who chewed off her own leg to try and escape while she was tied up has found a loving home.
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 2:31 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 5, 2022 at 4:10 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - A dog who chewed off her own leg to try and escape while she was tied up has found a loving home.

In August, a mail carrier found Bella tied up in a steel tether without food or water among deplorable conditions in Saginaw. In a desperate attempt to escape, she chewed off her own leg at the thigh.

Bella was malnourished and underweight when she was found.

Staff at the Saginaw County Animal Care and Control Center cared for her until she left Michigan for the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah on Jan. 15. Saginaw County Animal Control Officer Desiree Sage, who rescued Bella, traveled with her out west.

“Once we got there, it was very emotional. It was almost like leaving my own dog behind but I knew she was in a great place,” Sage said.

Bella’s soon-to-be adopters, Kim Diehl and Jason Reding from Rockford, Illinois, visited the sanctuary in February.

“She stole our hearts. That was how the story goes,” Diehl said.

The couple adopted a senior pit bull named Roxanne from the sanctuary in 2015.

After Roxanne passed away in October, the couple wanted another pit bull in their home. The day before her official adoption, Diehl and Reding flew out to Denver and rented a car to take Bella back to Illinois to ensure Bella had a comfortable journey home.

“She’s had such a horrible start to life. We intend to make up for that. I’m so happy that we can make life good for her so that she knows there actually is good things out there for her,” Diehl said.

Sage said she cried when she learned Bella found her forever home.

“The people that adopted her actually spent a whole week with her. So to know that they took the time to get to know Bella, to make sure that they could handle her, was heartwarming,” Sage said.

Sage said she hopes to drive out to the land of Lincoln to see Bella someday.

As for Diehl, she is more than happy to arrange a visit.

“I think those are incredible people that did what they did for her. And that they took her out there. Best Friends is an incredible place for animals. And that they took her there to get what she needed was great,” Diehl said.