Dog left to drown in river Trent dies almost two years after rescue

Bella in the river Trent

Bella, a Belgian Shepherd, was already 10 years old when she was left to drown in the river Trent with her lead tied to a large rock submerged in the water in January 2020.

Bella was rescued by two dog walkers who noticed her in the water, and immediately pulled her out of the river. One of her rescuers, Jane Harper, they would later say that the dog was “absolutely frozen”.

Bella was taken for emergency treatment at a local vet’s before being transferred into RSPCA care, while a man and a woman were soon arrested. In March this year the woman, Charlene Latham, was sentenced for “failing to stop” her former partner when he tried to drown Bella – but the man, Leigh Johnson, was not prosecuted as the RSPCA lacked evidence.

Bella went on to be adopted by a family in Derbyshire, and she remained with them until she was put to sleep due to long term health conditions.

The RSPCA’s Radcliffe Animal Centre stated, “It is with a heavy heart that we bring you the sad news of Bella’s passing. Our beautiful and courageous friend was peaceful at home with her owners. We have been truly blessed in caring for her and proud to have been part of her story.

“We will be ever thankful to her owners Maggie and Charlie for welcoming her into their home our amazing team dedicated to her recovery and of course to Jane and Joanne her heroic rescuers.”

They went on, “We will remember Bella as happy in her new home surrounded by love, kindness and respect. That is all we ever wanted for her and we are comforted that this is where she found peace and was finally able to let go.

“Love to you always Bella, you will never be forgotten.”


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