Dog thrown into river with rock tied around her neck finds loving forever home

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A dog hurled into a freezing river with a rock tied around her neck has been taken in by a loving family.

Belgian Shepherd Bella was found up to her neck in water in the River Trent after having a carrier bag containing the rock tethered to her leash on January 6 last year.

She was saved by heroic passerby Jane Harper who bravely leapt into the water near Long Lane, in Farndon, Notts., to rescue the drowning pooch.

Police took the dog to a local vet where she received emergency treatment and she went on to make a remarkable recovery in the care of the RSPCA.

After 15 months of rehabilitation the 11-year-old dog has now found a new home in South Derbyshire with Maggie Mellish and Charlie Douglas.

The retired couple are described as a "perfect match" for Bella as they have owned Shepherd-type dogs before and have the time to give her the attention she needs.

Maggie, 79, said: "We as a family, have three Shepherd-type dogs over the last 30 years and really love them.

"We lost our rescue dog Tia/Luna two years ago and my daughter's dog Flame, this year. We did really miss them.

"Then we saw Bella's story in the press a few weeks ago and the fact she needed a home so my daughter, Clare Lusher, encouraged us to apply for her.

"We know she will need regular vet appointments and are willing to finance those.

"We know she is in her older years but we just want to offer her a loving home she so deserves after all she has been through.

"We are both retired so she will have our company constantly which is what she really needs and it will be great for us too."

Charlie, 70, added: "We were horrified by what happened to Bella and when we came to see her we realised what a great personality she has and she really is perfect for us."

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On Wednesday the couple went to enjoy some time with their new pet – at the centre which has cared for her – ahead of her moving in with them on Thursday.

Bella's rescuers, Jane Harper and her friend Joanne Bellamy, were also invited along to Radcliffe Animal Centre in Nottingham to witness the happy occasion.

Ella Carpenter, manager at Radcliffe Animal Centre, said: "This is the perfect happy ending to a story which started off so sad and there were real doubts if Bella could pull through after her terrible ordeal."

Bella's former owner Charlene Latham, 32, was sentenced to a 12 months community order last month after she pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to her pet.

She was also fined £80, ordered to pay £200 costs and a £32 victim surcharge and disqualified from keeping dogs for three years at Nottingham Magistrates Court.

  • Family
  • Dogs

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