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Bella the dog who was rescued from drowning in River Trent at Farndon finally finds her forever home




A dog who was rescued from drowning in the River Trent at Farndon has finally found her forever home after spending 15 months recuperating from her ordeal in RSPCA care.

Bella was rescued from the river near Long Lane, Farndon, on January 6 when two dog walkers saw her struggling in the water after she was 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 vets.

Bella has found her forever home. Bella with her new owners Maggie Mellish and Charlie Douglas.
Bella has found her forever home. Bella with her new owners Maggie Mellish and Charlie Douglas.

Bella, then aged ten, was transferred into RSPCA care and has been looked after by staff at Radcliffe Animal Centre, while the police launched an investigation to find who was responsible.

Bella was fortunate to survive her ordeal in the freezing cold water, but it was discovered she had a range of complex health needs.

However, after months of rehabilitation she was completely transformed and has now found her forever home with Maggie Mellish and Charlie Douglas, of South Derbyshire.

The retired couple are a perfect match for Bella, now aged 11, as they have had Shepherd-type dogs before and have the time to give her the love and attention she deserves.

On Wednesday, the couple went to enjoy some time with their new pet ahead of her moving in with them.

Bella’s rescuers, Jane Harper and her friend Joanne Bellamy, were also invited along to witness the happy occasion.

Maggie said: “We as a family have had 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.

Bella has found her forever home. Bella with her rescuers Jane Harper and Joanne Bellamy.
Bella has found her forever home. Bella with her rescuers Jane Harper and Joanne Bellamy.

“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 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.”

Jane, 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.

Charlene Latham, 32, formerly of Newark, was sentenced to a 12-month community order last month 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, ordered to pay £200 costs and a £32 victim surcharge. She was also disqualified from keeping dogs for three years.



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