Abused dog which was savagely ‘left to drown’ in river gets happy new home

How anyone can cause suffering to a dog is beyond us. We adore our precious furbabies and would do absolutely anything to make sure they’re happy and well taken care of.

And in return, we get lots of love back from them. The bonds we have with our dogs are something special.

And while the thought of any dog being abused is something we just cannot bear to think about, we love it when we hear of a dog getting the happy ending it truly deserves.

One dog who’s now enjoying her well-deserved forever home is Bella.

After being rescued from drowning in the River Trent, she has finally found her forever home with retired couple Maggie Mellish and Charlie Douglas.

Bella was rescued from the river after two dog walkers saw her struggling in the water. She had been left to drown with her lead tied to a large rock submerged in the water.

She was immediately taken for emergency treatment at a local vet's.

Bella (then aged 10) was then transferred into the care of the Radcliffe Animal Centre in Nottingham where she was well looked after by staff while police launched an investigation.

Bella was fortunate to survive her ordeal in the freezing water and then it was discovered that she had a range of complex health needs.

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But after months of rehabilitation, she was completely transformed and has now found her forever home with Maggie and Charlie.

The retired couple is a perfect match for Bella as they have had Shepherd-type dogs before and have the time to give her the love and attention she deserves in her later years.

Maggie said: “We as a family, have three Shepherd-type dogs over the last 30 years and love them. We lost our rescue dog Tia/Luna two years ago and my daughter’s dog Flame, this year. We did 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.

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“We know she will need regular vet appointments and are willing to finance those. We know she's in her older years but we just want to offer her a loving home she so deserves after all she has been through.

“We're both retired so she'll have our company constantly which is what she needs and it'll be great for us too.”

Charlie 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 is perfect for us.

Jane, who freed Bella from the rock in the river, said: “It's quite emotional seeing Bella as it brings back memories of that terrible day but we're thrilled to see how she's been transformed by the 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's great to see how she's been rehabilitated and that she's 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've said we'll keep in touch."

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

A woman was sentenced to a 12-month community order after she pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to Bella by attempting to drown her.

As well as a 12-month community order she was fined £80, was ordered to pay £200 costs and a £32 victim surcharge. She was also disqualified from keeping dogs for three years.

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