When four-year-old Bella, a pitbull Terrier, was brought to Atlantic Coast Veterinary Specialists hospital in Bohemia at the end of January, she had a laceration around her neck so deep it was cutting into her jugular vein.
Now, three and a half months later, she’s healthy and living at Kent Animal in Calverton waiting for someone to adopt her.
Bella — who lived with her owner, Jaron Miller, 38, of Melville, prior to his arrest on Feb. 1 — was brought to the hospital with an embedded collar, said Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
He believes Bella was given a collar as a puppy and it was never replaced as she grew older.
Ashely Pearson, a veterinarian at Atlantic Coast, said when Bella came to the hospital she had deep wounds around her entire neck, which were infected and nearly 1 inch deep in some areas.
Ms. Pearson said Bella took about a week and a half to treat.
“It was probably many months that this collar was embedded in the dog’s neck,” Mr. Gross said. “Enough to cause severe chronic [suffering] … It looked like somebody took a machete to her. Just absolutely horrible to see a dog like that.”
Mr. Miller was charged with animal cruelty and faces up to a year in prison and/or a $1,000 fine. His next scheduled court appearance is in First District Court in Central Islip on May 17, Mr. Gross said.
Pam Green, the animal shelter’s executive director, said Bella is ready for adoption and gets along with both people and other dogs.
“She has that pitbull stigma. Unfortunately, that follows her so she hasn’t been adopted yet,” Ms. Green said. “She’s super sweet.”
Mr. Gross, a 33-year veteran of the department, said SCPA treats about 3,000 cases of animal cruelty a year and answers even more calls of reported abuse.
“We don’t go out and patrol,” he said. “We need you to step up to the plate when they see or suspect animal cruelty to make the call.”
Those interested in adopting Bella, or any other rescued animals at the shelter, can call (631) 727-5731 or fill out an application on their website, kentanimalshelter.com.
Those who believe they know of an animal being treated cruelly can call the SCPA anonymously at (631) 382-SCPA.
“Today, we must have someone come up and adopt this dog,” Mr. Gross said. “After all [Bella] been through, she deserves a great home.”
Top Photo: Bella, a four-year-old pitbull Terrier, has been at Kent Animal Shelter for three months and is looking for a home. She was brought to the hospital in January with infected wounds from an embedded collar. (Credit: Nicole Smith)