A woman has admitted to attempting to drown her dog after she was rescued from a freezing cold river with a rock tied around her lead.
Belgian Shepherd Bella was found in the River Trent up to her neck in water with a carrier bag containing a heavy rock tethered to her lead.
She was saved by heroic passer-by Jane Harper, who dived straight into the icy-cold water in January this year.Jane, from Newark in Nottinghamshire, said she initially thought the pooch was dead until she blinked.
Realising that she was alive, she jumped straight in but was shocked when she found the carrier bag with the rock inside.
Speaking at the time, she said: “I looked and I thought ‘that’s a dead dog’ – then she blinked.
“The water was so murky, I couldn’t pull her out.
“I got my arm underneath her and tried to lift her up.
“I imagine she literally fought to get her head above water and managed to rest it on a step.
“How could anyone do this to her?
“I don’t know how long she had been in the water but I don’t think she could have survived much longer. It was just so cruel.”
The police were called and Bella was identified through a microchip.
She was taken to the vets where she received treatment and is now doing well.
Bella’s owner Charlene Latham, 31, also from Newark, appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on 23 November.
She pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal namely Bella the shepherd dog, by an act, namely by attempting to drown the dog resulting in the animal being immersed in the cold water of the River Trent for a prolonged period, and that she knew, or ought to have known, that the act would have that effect or be likely to do so.
Latham was released on bail until her next court appearance on March 8, 2021 along with a 32-year-old man who denied the same charge.
Chief Superintendent Rob Griffin, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This was a highly emotive incident that was understandably very shocking to the public.
“Thankfully Bella is reported to be doing well and is in very good hands.
“Animal cruelty is totally unacceptable and we will always support our colleagues in the RSPCA in whatever we can in their investigations.”
An RSPCA spokesperson said at the time of the incident: “We are working with police following reports of a dog in the River Trent in Farndon with a carrier bag attached to her lead with a rock inside.
“Luckily a member of the public came across the Belgian Shepherd dog and was able to save her.