January 7, 2020 2.34 pm This story is over 51 months old

Two released under investigation after dog rescue near Lincoln

The RSPCA is now looking for a foster home for Bella

Two people have been released under investigation after a dog was found with a rock tied to its neck in a river.

As previously reported, Nottinghamshire Police arrested a 31-year-old woman and 32-year-old man on suspicion of animal cruelty offences.

The force condemned the people responsible for the “evil and nasty” way in which the Belgian Shepherd was left to die.

A passer-by spotted the dog, who was registered as Bella in 2010, in Farndon in Newark on Monday at around 8.45am before dragging her to safety.

Pictures of the woman who saved the dog when viral on social media.

Pictures of a woman, believed to be the hero who pulled Bella to safety, have since gone viral on Facebook.

The dog has now been videoed eating at a local vet but was found with a carrier bag tied to her lead with a large rock inside.

Officers investigating the crime have appealed for anyone who recognises the dog or saw anything suspicious in the area to come forward.

Inspector Heather Sutton, Nottinghamshire Police’s neighbourhood policing inspector for the Newark area, said: “Britain is undoubtedly a nation of animal lovers, which has been demonstrated by the overwhelming support we have received from members of the public to help Bella and assist our officers with their investigation into this particularly sad case.

“I would like to thank the public for their support, which has meant that we have a number of lines of enquiry that we will be following up as part of our continuing work to understand the circumstances surrounding this incident.

This was the rock tied to Bella.

“Animal cruelty investigations can often be very complex, so it’s important that we take our time to properly understand this case to ensure that the appropriate action is taken against whoever may be responsible and bring the offenders to justice.

“While we have made two arrests, I would continue to encourage anyone with any information to come forward to the police as soon as possible.”

An RSPCA spokesperson said: “We would like to thank members of the public for their help in this investigation and our inquiries are continuing.

“We are pleased to say Bella is doing well in veterinary care and we plan to find her a foster home soon.”