KANAB, Utah (ABC4) – A pit bull terrier who had tragically chewed off her own leg after being found abandoned and tied up has now found her forever home.

The courageous dog, Bella, has been adopted by a loving couple from Illinois. Bella was being housed at Utah’s Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab.

This happy sight of Bella’s adoption day is a far cry from how she was first discovered less than a year ago on Aug. 16, 2021.

Officials say in an “interesting karmic coincidence, Bella’s abuser was charged with animal cruelty on the same day she was adopted.”

Bella was originally found tethered in a yard in Saginaw, Michigan without any food, water or shelter. At the time, a mail carrier had discovered her and alerted local animal control authorities. Officials say Bella had been neglected for at least three weeks in that condition. Bella was so desperate to escape that she had chewed off her own hind leg in an attempt to free herself.

Both of her legs were tethered and authorities say that if she had not been rescued, there was a high risk of losing her other leg as well.

“Walking into the backyard and seeing Bella that day was unimaginably gut-wrenching,” says Desi Sage, animal care and control officer. “Against all odds, Bella overcame being left for dead. I’m beyond thankful to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary for ensuring that Bella will never endure such pain and agony again.”

Bella was selected to recover at the Best Friend’s Animal center in Kanab, Utah when her new parents heard her story and fell in love with her.

“The rest is history. Bella just has an irresistible face. It was love at first sight,” said Kim Diehl, Bella’s adopter. “We brought her to stay with us at the sanctuary’s onsite cottages for a week. She’s so energetic and has such a bubbly personality, we grew to love her even more. Her back story is very sad and it’s too bad that she had to go through that, but we intend to make up for all of that. We intend to spoil her rotten.”

The couple says Bella is adjusting to her new home in Illinois quite wonderfully.

“Bella has a bed on the floor next to me and has been sleeping through the night,” says Diehl. “It’s hard to believe that she is potty trained, but so far, no accidents. We have so much love for this adorable girl.”

Julie Castle, chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society say Bella’s story truly embodies the spirit of animal welfare.

“It’s only by working together that shelters and rescues can save pets like Bella,” says Castle. “Everyone at Best Friends is thrilled that Bella found wonderful adopters and we are very grateful to have played a role in her getting a second chance at a beautiful new life.”

To see Bella and her new loving family, click here. To foster or adopt a furry friend near you, click here.