On July 17, 2018, there was a tragic traffic accident on I-5 in Merced County involving a family of five.
RELATED: 5 people killed, including 2 children, in two separate crashes on I-5
Three of the family members lost their lives as a result of that accident, while the other two were taken to local hospitals. What the public may not have heard is that the family's beloved dog, Bella, was also in the vehicle. She suffered serious injuries that required immediate treatment.
Bella was transported to the Merced County Sheriff's Animal Services Bureau, and the Animal Care Specialist provided her initial care. Dr. William Bell and his team at the Santa Fe Pet Hospital also heard about the accident and agreed to perform emergency surgery for free. The surgery went well, and afterward, Bella was returned to the Merced County Sheriff's Animal Services Bureau where staff continued to care for her during her recovery.
On Monday night Sergeant Mark Taylor along with other members of the Animal Services Bureau took Bella to Valley Children's Hospital in Madera County, where she was reunited with a six-year-old survivor of the accident. Sergeant Taylor says it was a very happy and heartwarming moment to see Bella and the child both so excited. He added, "Moments like this remind you that life is precious, and they make the job we do all worth it." Bella and the other family members who were injured have now been released from the hospitals where they were being treated and are on their way home.