Her name is Bella Nina. Yes, I’m talking about the poster dog for this year’s GiveBIG campaign. Bella Nina is one of more than 300 Old Dog Haven dogs you’ll be helping if you participate in GiveBIG on Tuesday May 5 AND Wednesday May 6.

Here’s more about Bella Nina:

Bella Nina came into the shelter as just another old, sad looking, neglected pit bull with no chance for adoption.  She had two LARGE cysts on her back and tail, thickened skin in many places, crusty ears, very bad teeth and infected anal glands. Most significantly, she has very obvious facial nerve paralysis (trigeminal neuropathy) on one side of her face—it droops, and the eye squints a bit. There’s no indication whether this resulted from trauma or something neurologic (i.e. a tumor somewhere).

Her temperament was evaluated as a 10+ on the sweetness scale, so Judith looked for a foster family for Bella Nina. One of our fosters has a son who had always wanted a pit bull so Judith and his mom thought Bella would be a wonderful friend for him. And so she has been. One of Judith’s many talents is a Yenta-like sense about matching dogs with foster families, and she was right-on as usual about this one.

Bella Nina patiently shares her home with other ODH dogs, she dotes on her young man, who has taken responsibility for her health care, including vet appointments. Bella has been a great match for this family, and the family has been a great gift for Bella.


ODH has cleared up Bella Nina’s infected anal glands, let her gain some weight, and her overall condition has improved. So far there’s no sign of neurologic problems, so she’ll soon have a dental and those two huge cysts will be removed. The one on her tail may end up needing a board-certified surgeon, which ODH will provide for her.

Bella’s family says that “her happy places are outdoors and in bed. We just love her to pieces.”




None of what has been done to help Bella Nina and what still needs to be done for her could happen without Old Dog Haven’s supporters. Are you interested in joining Bella Nina’s support club? Here’s how you can help:

GiveBIG is one of our largest fundraisers of the year, raising an invaluable source of income for the dogs. Help us reach our goal of raising $80,000 during GiveBIG.

Thanks to generous donors we have $37,500 in #GiveBIG matching funds, which means if we meet the match your #GiveBIG gift can go even further.

With all of our hearts—animal and human—we thank YOU for believing in us, supporting our mission, loving old dogs, and coming together to help senior dogs in need.

Click HERE to donate.

Bella Nina and the rest of her friends at Old Dog Haven send you a BIG Paws Up for giving big to help them.


Thanks to our Director of Veterinary Services/Dog Manager Judith Piper for the information about Bella Nina, and to Bella Nina’s family for providing the photographs used here.

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