Mercy & Miracles

Boys will be boys or so it’s said. Nineteen year old Kaegen and his friends were stirring up some excitement on a Friday night. They were up on the mountain in a remote area well known for bonfires, four wheeling and fun. His mom had given him the standard instructions as he walked out the door; be careful, make smart choices, call if you need me, be home on time.

It was a regular night, full of the swagger, bravado and glory of youth. Then in an instant, everything changed. One of the guys caught site of a movement on the gravel road, then another, tentative and furtive. They sauntered over to check it out. There, hunkered down in the road, was the saddest looking dog Kaegen had ever seen. She was barely more than balding skin over sharply protruding bones. Her skin was red, raw and cracked open, her feet were swollen, she was bleeding everywhere. She was too weak to stand, or even sit, yet she lay there, tail wagging nonetheless. She was visibly in pain, the temperature was 19 degrees and plummeting.

Times like these separate the men from the boys and define a man’s true depth of character. Speaking softly and gently these young men told this sorrowful dog that she got lucky today. Good times could wait, fun would rise another day, without their immediate help this dog might not. They gathered her up and carried her off the hill. These benevolent, compassionate, kindhearted young men would not leave her there to die alone and unwanted.

Bonita woke to a bright light shining in her bedroom window. Through blurry eyes the clock told her it was 1:30 am. She saw her son and his friends in a semi circle on the porch peering down. With some trepidation she threw on a robe and headed out. Nothing prepared her for what she saw.

Bonita’s reaction was visceral. She gasped and tears filled her eyes. For a moment no one spoke. The feelings of disbelief, anger and helplessness washed over them. The dog was shivering as she gobbled her third bowl of food as fast as she could. Bonita believed surely this night would be the dog’s last, no living being could look that bad and survive. Determined she would know someone cared about her finally and at last, Bonita began gathering towels and blankets. She made a bed next to her own and they carried the dog in.


Bonita kept vigil through the night, praying for mercy and miracles between the teardrops. At 4:30 am as she talked to the dog, Bonita told her she was beautiful and named her Bella, Lucky Bella. As dark turned to dawn Bonita began texting every animal loving friend she knew looking for help. She was soon directed to our good friend Jackie at the Floyd County Animal Shelter.

One look at Lucky Bella and Jackie knew how serious this was. She contacted Safe Hands and with one “yes” gently, tenderly and oh so carefully scooped up the frail and feeble dog and headed to the good Dr. Green. Bella would spend the next two weeks in the hospital on IV fluids, antibiotics and medications to ease her pain and heal her body. She was able to travel to Minnesota last weekend to continue her recovery in a loving foster home. Bonita and Kaegen were able to visit her before she left.

Bonita had a special message for us. She said, “I don’t think there are words to tell you how grateful I am for your agency and what you do for these precious animals. In the past two weeks I have seen both the worst and the best in humanity. I am thankful so much for a compassionate child, answered prayers and those who have been willing vessels to do good works and save this worthy life. Thanks to Safe Hands Rescue and Paws Aboard Rescue Transport our Lucky Bella has traveled far to leave her past behind her. No longer is she suffering, lonely and neglected. Today, she is safe!” Bonita – we are thankful for your honorable son and to you, the mother who raised him.

We are thankful for this story’s other heroes – you, the Safe Hands’ family. When you make a gift to Safe Hands Rescue you allow us to say “yes” when we get the call. The work you put in when you clean transport crates, prepare foster packs, load the van, process applications, make files, organize events and so much more is why we can say “yes”.

If you would like to save dogs like Bella with your tax deductible donation you can do so here: Support Safe Hands Rescue


UPDATE:  Bella is getting better each day. She has become a VERY active and playful pup!


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