When we first encountered Bella, a three-year old English Mastiff, she was curled up on her bed in the Pottawattamie County Animal Shelter.
At the time, Animal Control Supervisor Chuck Coulter said, "She is terrified. We've been working with a trainer who comes out every day to get her to come out of shell a little bit before she's adoptable."
Since then, Muddy Paws Second Chance Rescue has joined in the effort to get Bella to perk up and thrive in her surroundings.
"We are in unique position being able to take in dogs like Bella who are long term rehab dogs," said Lorie Jenkins, a Muddy Paws volunteer. "That's a part of our mission that distinguishes us from other rescues that aren't able to do that sort of work."
Bella is now living in a foster home and has shown some signs of progress.
"She has had moments," said Jenkins. "Someone coaxed her into taking food out of her hand, she has gotten down off the couch, briefly. But as soon as she knows someone is nearby she jumps right up on the couch."
The couch is Bella's safe place where she will often sulk down when someone draws near.
"We know it's a long term project," said Jenkins at a meet and greet adoption outreach for Muddy Paws. "We think that with Bella we might have identified the right home, And what we will do with this family or any family is, we will move her into that home as a foster dog. They won't adopt her right away. We're going to leave her there and make sure it's a good fit for her and for the family. Then if it all works out well, then she will be adopted by that family."
Muddy Paws Second Chance Rescue was formed in January of 2015 and in it's first year of service, it placed 186 dogs in new homes according to Jenkins..
"We are entirely supported by donations. Foster home space and the amount those are our greatest limitations, but our numbers are growing everyday. Volunteers are joining and we expect that to continue."
For more information on Muddy Paws Second Chance Rescue, Inc click HERE.