Bella, a senior Belgian shepherd left to drown in icy waters with a heavy rock tied around her neck, has found a loving family to forever keep her safe and warm.

Bella’s rescuer, Jane Harper, found the 11-year-old dog neck deep in the freezing waters of England’s River Trent just in time. Harper jumped in and pulled her from the water. Bella wouldn’t have survived much longer, veterinarians who examined her said.

Bella spent 15 months in rehabilitation. Her caretakers worried she wouldn’t survive many times throughout her recovery. Her age and several underlying health conditions worked against her, but Bella fought to live.

When Maggie and Charlie, a retired couple in their 70s, heard Bella’s story, they felt immediately drawn to her. For 30 years, they had loved shepherds and were experienced with the special needs shepherds often develop as hard-working dogs. They knew Bella would be a perfect fit for their loving, relaxed home.

Bella’s new home has a private fenced-in yard — all for her.

In other news, the dog’s former “guardian,” Charlene Latham, has pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal when she failed to stop her ex-partner from allegedly attempting to drown the dog. The court system sentenced her to 12 months of community service, banned her from having dogs for the next three years, and ordered her to pay 312 euros — the equivalent of $374 — in fines, medical costs, and a victim fee.

The RSPCA, which investigated the crime, said the agency did not have enough evidence to prosecute the ex-partner, who denied Latham’s allegations, according to the Daily Mail.

Lady Freethinker is delighted that this wonderful senior dog has found the loving home she deserves and that the person who abused her has been held accountable for her cruel and abhorrent actions.

Thank you so much to the more than 38,000 people who signed our petition, demanding justice for Bella!

Bella dog before and after abuse