A poorly dog who was heartlessly left to drown by her owner has been re-homed fit and healthy thanks to a retired couple who were "horrified" by the cruelty.
Bella, a shepherd-type dog, was rescued by two dogs walkers when she was 10 years old after they saw her struggling in the cold waters of the River Trent.
The beautiful pup had been left to drown with her lead tied to a large rock submerged in the water and would have remained stuck if she had not been untied by the kind dog walkers.
Bella required immediate emergency treatment at the local vets and when she was strong enough transferred to the care of the Radcliffe Animal Centre in Nottingham where specially trained staff took care of her.
Bella was incredibly lucky to survive the freezing waters of the River Trent but matters were made worse when staff discovered that she had a range of medical needs.
However after months of rehabilitation, and through the love and support of staff she was completely transformed.
Maggie Mellish and Charlie Douglas, a retired couple, saw Bella's story in the local press and were encouraged by their daughter to look into adopting her.
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"My daughter, Clare, encouraged us to apply for her. 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," said Maggie
“We're both retired so she'll have our company constantly which is what she needs and it'll be great for us too.”
While some owners may have reluctant the adopt an older dog the couple couldn't wait to welcome her to the family.
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“We know she will need regular vet appointments and are willing to finance those," Maggie added.
The family owned three Shepherd-type dogs over the last 30 years but sadly lost their rescue dog Tia/Luna two years ago and Maggie's daughter’s dog Flame this year.
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."
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Bella is back to her best with a beautiful coat and is finally somewhere safe to spend her days.
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.
“At times we thought she just wouldn't make it, with her age and underlying health conditions all against her. But Bella has fought every day, showing enviable strength and courage, not wanting to give up her fight to recover"
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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