Woman admits tying rock around dog then dumping it in river

Jimmy Nsubuga
·2-min read
Belgian Shepherd Bella was rescued from the River Trent (Swns)
Belgian Shepherd Bella was rescued from the River Trent (Swns)

A woman has admitted attempting to drown a dog by dumping it in a freezing river with a heavy rock tied to its lead.

Belgian Shepherd Bella was found up to her neck in water in the River Trent after having a carrier bag containing the rock tethered to her leash.

She was saved by a heroic passerby Jane Harper who bravely leapt into the water in Farndon, Nottinghamshire, on 6 January.

Police took the dog to a local vet where she received care and is now in good health.

Charlene Latham, 31, of Newark, Nottinghamshire, appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on 23 November.

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This rock was tied to the dog (Swns)
This rock was tied to the dog (Swns)

Latham 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.

She was released on bail until her next court appearance on 8 March next year 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.”

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Bella after she was rescued (Swns)
Bella after she was rescued (Swns)

Ms Harper was with a friend who initially spotted the dog struggling to keep its head above water before she jumped in.

She said at the time: “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.”

An RSPCA spokesperson added: “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.

“We have found the dog was microchipped in 2010 and her name is Bella and she is aged 10."

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