RESCUE DOG OF THE YEAR

BELLA

Miracle dog found her forever home, after being tied to a rock and thrown in the river to drown.

Plucky Belgian Shepherd Bella was tied to a rock and left to drown in a river by her cruel owners before she was rescued and found a loving new home in South Derbyshire.

The 11-year-old dog, who suffered from a series of complex health needs, was tied to a rock and thrown into the freezing River Trent, near Newark, in January 2020.

Two dog-walkers spotted her struggling and one of them, Jane Harper, went into the water to rescue her. She was barely alive and Jane – and her friend Jo Harper – took her straight to a local vet who battled to save her life.

Remarkably, she pulled through and was taken to the Ratcliffe Animal Centre, an RSPCA Trust, where Ella Carpenter and Sophie Major worked to recover her so that she could be rehomed.

After 15 months recuperating she was found a safe home she could call her own – living with a retired couple in the South Derbyshire countryside. 

She spent a happy year getting cuddles and being spoilt by her new owners Maggie Mellish and Charlie Douglas. Sadly, last month Bella succumbed to her old injuries and she passed away in their loving arms.