Saved from the river

A dog who was rescued from drowning in the River Trent has found her forever home in Derbyshire after spending 15 months recuperating from her ordeal.

Bella was rescued from the River Trent near Long Lane, Farndon, on 6 January 2020.  She was left to drown with her lead tied to a large rock submerged in the waterAged 10 at the time, Bella was rescued by two dog walkers who noticed her in the water, and immediately taken for emergency treatment at a local vet’s before being transferred into RSPCA care.

rescued from the river
Jane getting Bella to safety after finding her struggling in the water

A woman was sentenced to a 12 months community order last month after she pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to Bella by attempting to drown her.  She was also fined £80, ordered to pay £200 costs and a £32 victim surcharge, and was disqualified from keeping dogs for three years.

After months of rehabilitation Bella, who had a range of complex health needs to deal with in addition to her near-death experience, was ready for her new home with Maggie Mellish and Charlie Douglas, a retired couple from South Derbyshire.

Now aged 11, Bella has settled well in her new home and is set to live out her twilight years as a much-loved pet.

Jane Harpur, one of the dog walkers who freed Bella from the rock in the river, said, “It is quite emotional seeing Bella as it brings back memories of that terrible day but we are thrilled to see how she has been transformed by staff here at the RSPCA.”

“She looks like a different dog – her coat is beautiful and she looks so happy and full of life. It is great to see how she has been rehabilitated and that she is now going to spend the rest of her days at a loving home.

“It was so nice to meet Bella’s new owners and we have said we will keep in touch.”

Images by RSPCA


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