Queen Stella, an adorable 13-year-old English bulldog, was able to avoid a life of chains and overbreeding by finding a best friend in Jacki Bagwell, the vice president of Atlantic Rottweiler Rescue and Friends, a nonprofit dog rescue in Mooresville. Bagwell saw Stella sitting solo in a shelter after animal control found her as a stray. The canine was never spayed and was overbred, and as a result she suffers from mammary gland cancer that has spread to her lungs. And if that weren’t enough, heartworms have caused the poor canine heart failure.
Though Stella wasn’t given a good prognosis, Bagwell said she was determined to give her at least one night of love and care. That one night, however, has turned into almost two weeks. Now, Bagwell said, Stella wants to experience everything she never got to.
Bagwell and Susan Faulkner, owner of 4 Paws Pet Salon in Mooresville, created a bucket list for Stella. So far, the puppy has been able to participate in Bark For Life – Lake Norman, where she was crowned the cutest/most courageous dog.
Stella has also accomplished being on the news and spreading awareness for pet responsibility. Stella’s suffering could have been prevented with the right care, Bagwell said. Though she can’t hear and can barely see, Stella has committed, Bagwell said, to learning what life has to offer.
“She doesn’t want to stop,” she said. “She’s got willpower.”
Still left on Stella’s bucket list: trips to the Dog Bar in Charlotte to get a doggie beer and to Bruster’s to get a doggie ice cream.
People can help prevent other dogs from deteriorating into a condition like Stella’s by spaying and neutering their pets, providing preventive health care and committing to their pet for its entire life, Faulkner said.
For Stella, educating pet owners and enjoying life are her top priorities, Bagwell said: “She wants to make everybody happy.”
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