‘When I first saw her, I thought she was dead,’ says witness
A dog owner who tried to drown her pet by tying a heavy rock to its neck and throwing it in a river has been fined just £80. Charlene Latham, 32, put the rock in a carrier bag and tied the handles to her Belgian shepherd Bella’s lead.
She then threw the dog and the rock into the River Trent in Farndon, Nottinghamshire, before running away.
Passer-by Jane Harper was walking along the river bank on the morning of 6 January last year when she heard a loud splash and saw Bella beginning to disappear under the water. She rushed to rescue the 10-year-old dog before calling the police, who took the animal to a vet.
Latham was arrested after Bella’s microchip identified the dog, and she later admitted causing unnecessary suffering to animal. On Monday, she was handed a 12-month community order, fined £80 and ordered to pay £232 costs and victim surcharge at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court.
Latham, formerly of Newark, Nottinghamshire, but now of Ilfracombe, north Devon, was also banned from keeping dogs for three years. The vet who examined Bella said it was “likely she would have died” if she had not received treatment in time. “She was severely hypoglycemic, hypothermic and tremoring to the point where she could not stand,” they added.
BELA MADE FULL RECOVERY.
Recalling the rescue, Ms Harper, of Newark, said: “I honestly don’t know how she survived.
“She was in such a bad way. She was just a dead weight. She was in a terrible state. “When I first saw her, I thought she was dead. I was trying to talk to her and lift her out, but she wasn’t responding. “Then her eyes moved and I thought ‘I’ve got to help this dog’.
“It was a real struggle and we had to call others to get her out because of the weight. “I soon realised this was a deliberate act and not just an animal in a tricky situation. “Her coat was so thick and she had no strength, but we just kept talking to her and keeping her calm. It was a real team effort.
This story ended up with positive outcome due to heroic behavior of passenger. Thanks to her, Bela is alive today. However, we are afraid how many dogs are not that lucky.
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