Dog-fighting, although illegal, still exists in this world. Innocent dogs are chained up and forced to fight each other in prohibited dog-fighting rings. But dogs are not the only animals who are forced into fighting.
A bear named Masha had a very rough start to life. She was living on the grounds of a dog training area where she was used as a “bait bear” to train hunting dogs in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
During the training sessions, Masha was tied up without food or water, and would be attacked by aggressive hunting dogs. Once the session was over, it didn’t get any better. She would be let off the chain but then put back into a cage that was so small she couldn’t even sit up in it. Then the next day, she would go through it all over again. She suffered through this for years at the hands of her abusive owner.
Masha was extremely neglected and malnourished. She was thin, dirty, and the concrete floors that she was living on hurt her paws. She also had chafing on her neck from the collar and heavy chains that she was forced to wear.
Four Paws International, an animal rescue organization, heard about Masha’s plight, and knew they had to help. They alerted authorities who confirmed the case of animal cruelty and arrested the owner.
Four Paws made an agreement with the owner and convinced him to give Masha to them. Masha traveled 12 hours from Kharkiv to Zhytomyr Ukraine and was fed fruits and vegetables during the ride. Once she arrived to their sanctuary, she was examined by their vets.
They removed the heavy chains and started proper treatment to get her on the road to recovery. They also started her on a rich diet–consisting of chicken, fish, nuts, eggs, fruits and vegetables–to help her gain weight.
Her new life at Nadiya, the Four Paws bear rescue center, was finally everything she deserved. She had so much land to roam around on, trees to climb, and pools to swim in. Thankfully, she won’t ever have to live in chains ever again. She now lives with other bears who have been rescued from the same torture that she was put through.
Masha is just one bear who was forced to live that dreadful life, but Four Paws hopes to rescue more bears from bear baiting.