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Swan Attack

The RSPCA is appealing for owners to keep their dogs under control and preferably on a lead near wildlife or livestock, after a recent attack on a swan proved fatal.

Officers from the charity were called to Swanswell Park, Bird Street in Coventry last week after an injured swan, bleeding and with missing tail feathers, was seen under a tree. When RSPCA animal collection officer (ACO) Simon Dix arrived to rescue the swan he was horrified to discover the bird’s back end was missing. The severe injury had clearly been caused by a dog attack. Simon had no choice but to put the swan to sleep at the scene to prevent further suffering.

"The message here is very clear - dog owners need to keep their pets under control, ideally on a lead, when near wildlife and livestock,” said Simon.

This poor swan had been the victim of a vicious attack. When I bent down to touch it I could literally feel the bird’s backbone. The pain and suffering it endured would have been atrocious. Swanswell Park is home to many swans and dog owners need to act responsibly in this area to ensure tragedies such as this are prevented. '

Legally dog owners should have charge and control of their animals in a public place. You may think your dog is well behaved and would never chase or attack wildlife but you do not know how your dog will react if a wild animal was close by. '

'Swans and other wildlife are protected by law and you could face prosecution if your dog attacks and kills. It is important for dog owners to remember they are ultimately responsible for what their pet does so if walking in a park or in the countryside near livestock dogs are best kept on a lead.'