June 8, 2021 5.13 pm This story is over 29 months old

Bella thriving at her forever home after surviving drowning attempt

A happy ending for Bella the dog

A dog that was saved from drowning in the River Trent is living its best life with a happy new family.

Bella, an 11-year-old German Shepherd, was rescued from the River Trent near Long Lane, Farndon, after being tied to a rock in an attempt at drowning her by previous owner Charlene Latham in early January 2020.

Two dog walkers saw her struggling in the water and managed to free Bella when her lead was attached to a carrier bag tied to a large rock under the water.

Jane Harpur rescuing Bella. | Photo: RSPCA

Latham was arrested by police and given a 12-month community order, as well as being disqualified from keeping dogs for three years.

Bella spent 15 months recovering in the care of Radcliffe Animal Centre, and finally found her forever home in April, completely transforming her life thanks to retired couple Maggie Mellish and Charlie Douglas in South Derbyshire.

Bella on arrival at the Radcliffe Animal Centre. | Photo: RSPCA

Due to her age and the ordeal she went through, Bella has to go for regular checks at the vet, who says she is doing really well and getting stronger each day.

Bella is happy as can be in her new forever home with her new loving owners. | Photo: RSPCA

Maggie, the new loving owner of Bella, said: “I have had German Shepherds before and when I saw her photograph and heard what had happened I just thought we would be able to give her that loving home she needs for the last months or years of her life.

“She deserves a lot of happiness now and she gets plenty of fuss and attention from us and enjoys wandering freely in the house and in the garden.

Bella’s rescuers Jane Harper and Joanne Bellamy. | Photo: RSPCA

“We love her – she is just a joy and a happy little bunny.

“She is quite sensitive and can be very quiet at times but she loves being around us both – she has bonded so well.”

Bella was also handed a surprise from a special visitor when Sophie Major, the animal care assistant that worked with her for over a year, dropped in to see her.

Bella absolutely loves play time with her ball. | Photo: RSPCA

In a heartwarming moment, Bella instantly recognised Sophie and gave her a big fuss before spending some play time with the person who worked so hard to save her life.

Ella Carpenter is the manager at Radcliffe Animal Centre and says she couldn’t be happier with Bella’s progress and her new owners.

Bella and animal care assistant Sophie Major. | Photo: RSPCA

“We are delighted that Bella is happy and settled in her new home. She’s now living her best life thanks to Maggie and Charlie.

“It is so rewarding for us to see the animals we rehabilitate getting all the love and care they deserve in their forever homes.

Bella before and after the ordeal. | Photo: RSPCA

“All we wanted for Bella was to restore her health as much as possible so she could live out the rest of her life knowing only kindness.

“We would like to thank everyone who supported Bella through her tough journey of rehabilitation. Without this support from the public, none of our work would be possible.”