This is Bella in summer.
This is Bella in winter.
Rinse (your eyes) and repeat. For three years.
Residents of the town of New Providence, Iowa, have been reluctant eyewitnesses to the case of a dog left to the elements year after year. After year.
And Bella’s owners have been anything but open to change.
“A doghouse was brought last year. They had the door slammed in their face,” Amy Haas-Grey of HEART Hardin Eldora Animal Rescue Team told The Dodo.
This tiny town is beginning to draw so much social media heat over this image of a dog in snow, it’s fast becoming a dubious kind of postcard.
But the campaign to relieve Bella has been underway for all too long.
“We’ve gone to city council meetings,” Haas-Gray said. “We’ve talked to the mayor. The sheriff. This has been going on for three years.”
The chorus of outrage has finally brought the local sheriff to the owners’ doorstep.
“It’s tied up outside,” Sheriff Dave McDaniel told The Dodo, shortly after visiting the family. “There are obviously people who don’t think that’s acceptable. And it’s certainly debatable.
“It’s got shelter, food and water. However, the type of shelter is questionable.”
McDaniels did, however, persuade the owners to accept a doghouse built by concerned citizens. It arrived Wednesday.
“I spoke to the family and convinced them to accept an insulated, better quality shelter than what it currently has,” he said. “Hopefully, that makes conditions more favorable for the animal.”
Haas-Gray isn’t so sure.
“It’s not ideal,” she said. “I still want to get her out of there. Baby steps.”
There is no dog for all seasons. Just animals that are not only mentally isolated but, frequently, suffer in frozen silence.
Like Bella. Who presides over her patch of dirt at the end of a chain, her only companions, rain, sun, snow and bitter cold.
You can let New Providence mayor Lou Shafer know how you feel about Bella’s plight by calling 515 899 7736. Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.