A dog owner who threw her dog in a river weighted down with a rock has been fined just £80.
32-year-old Charlene Latham admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Belgian Shepard Bella last January.
Bella was pulled from the Trent in Farndon, Nottinghamshire, by passer-by Jane Harper.
Charlene Latham, now of Devon, was identified as the owner from the dog’s microchip.
The ten-year-old dog was ‘hypothermic and tremoring to the point where she could not stand’.
Latham told the court an ex-boyfriend was the one who tried to drown the animal — and she pleaded with him not to.
The ex denied he was to blame, and the RSPCA did not have enough evidence to prosecute him.
Ella Carpenter, manager at Radcliffe Animal Centre, said, after the case, that they are now desperate to find Bella a loving new home.
She said: ‘We are both proud and privileged to have cared for Bella over the past fourteen months.
‘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.
‘We hope that she will now be able to live out the rest of her life with the love and respect that she has always deserved and are looking for that special forever home for Bella.
‘We are appealing ideally for a local home for Bella so that we may assist in supporting her ongoing care due to the complexity of her needs.
‘Bella has a number of underlying health issues which do need careful management under veterinary supervision.
‘She can sometimes be challenging to care for, and recognising when she feels well or not will take time in getting to know her.
‘Her new owners must have the financial ability to support her veterinary care when our centre is closed as it is unlikely she will be able to be insured for any of her existing conditions.
‘Her new owners should have experience of large breed dogs, ideally owning German Shepherds before and have no other pets.
‘She will need a very secure garden. She does not like to be around other dogs and is reactive and unsettled in their presence.
‘Bella’s new owners must feel emotionally able to cope with her deterioration over time and inevitable passing when the time comes.’