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Cygnet dies after dog savaging

PUBLISHED: 14:10 22 December 2010

A CYGNET had to be put down after being ‘torn apart’ by two greyhounds and a Doberman at a country park on Sunday.

The RSPCA is appealing for information folllwing the attack by the three dogs at Whitlingham Country Park in Trowse, near Norwich.

The swan, thought to be aged less than a year old, had to be put to sleep by a vet after the attack on due to the severity of its injuries.

A man was seen walking with two greyhounds and a Doberman in the park at about 11am on Sunday. The dogs were not on leads and, although one of the greyhounds was muzzled, the other two were not. Witnesses described how the dogs seemed to be out of control and ran over to a lake, where they “tore apart” the swan as their owner stood by. He then walked away with the dogs.

RSPCA inspector Emily Bottomley, two officers from Norfolk police and Keith Glen-West of Water Bird Rescue spent three hours trying to rescue the cygnet, which was trapped in ice 12 feet away from the bank.

A boat could not be launched because of the thickness of the ice and eventually the swan had to be moved to shore using extending poles.

Inspector Bottomley said: “Once we managed to get the cygnet to the bank we realised just how shocking its injuries were. It had a badly damaged wing and its intestines were literally hanging out of its body.

“It was so upsetting that, after trying to rescue this poor bird, we could do nothing to help it, the injuries were so severe.

“The swan suffered unimaginable pain and distress throughout its ordeal and it was put through this just because someone did not keep their dogs under control.

“We think the owner must have realised what could happen by allowing his pets to roam around in an area where there are so many wild birds and animals and at the very least he could have prevented this attack from happening.”

PC Mark Campbell said: “We are working closely with the RSPCA and carrying out a police investigation to find those responsible for the attack which cost the life of a swan.

“There were several members of the public in the area at the time of the incident and would ask anyone with information to contact the police on 0845 456 4567 so we can bring the offender to justice”.

The RSPCA is appealing for witnesses or anyone with information about the attack to contact the cruelty line on 0300 123 4999.

Those allowing their dogs to be dangerously out of control in a public place, or those who allow their pets to attack other animals, could face prosecution and a maximum prison sentence of six months.


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