This young pit bull mix is in need of love – and lots of food!

By People Staff
Updated December 08, 2009 04:37 AM

For every pet living with a happy family, there is an animal in a shelter waiting to find a forever home. So today, we want you to meet Belle, a 3-year-old American pit bull terrier mix found in squalor in New York City, who’s working her way back to health and happiness thanks to Animal Haven.

“Belle is an absolutely wonderful girl who adores people,” Jennifer Bristol, Animal Haven’s Director of Operations tells PEOPLE Pets. “Although she has no reason to.” Found five weeks ago in New York City, Belle had been locked in the bathroom of an abandoned apartment without food or water, and was covered in filth. “She weighed only 19 lbs.,” says Bristol. In addition, her ears had been cropped by an amateur, giving them a pointed (and painful) look.

Now rehabilitated and gaining back weight – she’s up to 30 lbs.! – Belle is looking for a good home – and some good meals. “She is extremely gentle and loves everyone,” says Bristol. “Even after all she’s been through, Belle is one incredible girl.”

Animal Haven is a nonprofit that finds homes for abandoned cats and dogs throughout the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Founded in 1967, the organization operates a limited-admission shelter and adoption center in Manhattan as well as a mobile adoption van. Like any animal rescue group, they’re always in need of donations, so please visit their Web site for more information and to see how you can help.