Neither of them could pry the trap's powerful jaws open, so Peg stayed with Bella while John went in search of tools. It was during this time that Peg snapped a few photos of Bella in the trap, to use as evidence.
John returned, and after several more harrowing minutes, they were finally able to wrench the trap open and free Bella.
Once Peg had the dogs safely back in the car, the emotional toll of the ordeal caught up with her and she started to cry, she said.
Peg's daughter, Megan Pelley, was returning home from her job as a teacher at the local elementary school when she got the call from her mother, telling her what had happened.
The local veterinarian informed them that Bella had broken 17 of her teeth while desperately trying to chew her way out of the trap. They learned that all of the bleeding had been from Bella's mouth, not her paw, which was badly injured but not cut.
Due to the extent of her injuries, Bella required specialized dental surgery, and the closest clinic that could perform the procedure was 800 miles away, in Montreal. As Christmas approached, the Pelleys were facing over $5000 in veterinary bills and travel expenses.
Along with numerous individual donations to help ease the financial strain on the family, Humane Society International/Canada intervened, meeting with Bella and the Pelleys when they arrived in Montreal, and covering $2000 of Bella's veterinary costs.
The surgery was a success, and Bella is now back home recovering with her family. She has nerve damage in her paw, but she is otherwise back to her usual playful self, and is finally eating solid food again.