Couple charged with animal cruelty after leaving dog behind after moving

HOUSTON, TX (WCMH) — Prosecutors say when the two people moved from town, they left their dog Bella behind to fend for herself.

“She had been suffering for quite some time to be in the condition that Sgt. Jenson found her in,” Sherry Ferguson, with the Houston Humane Society, told KTRK.

Ferguson said Bella, a 7-month-old chocolate lab, was found abandoned after her owners moved.

Investigators said Bella had been on her own for months, and it was unclear if she would survive. She was malnourished, had a severe case of mange, and had intestinal problems.

But after being cared for in guarded condition, Ferguson told KTRK Bella is doing better. “We have made Bella almost whole again.”

Now her two former owners, Tristan Hancock, 21 and Elisha Gonzalez, 44, have been charged with animal abandonment. However, investigators say they have not been arrested yet. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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