A swan has been fatally injured after being attacked by two dogs in Rotherham at the weekend. It is the third incident of its kind dealt with by RSPCA officers in South Yorkshire in the past few weeks.
The RSPCA was called to Bolton Brick Pond in Bolton-upon-Dearne after the incident happened at around 8.30am on Saturday (25 April).
RSPCA Animal Collection Officer Katie Hetherington, who attended, said: “The swan’s injuries were horrific, he had a very badly broken wing and a broken foot. He collapsed and was breathing heavily. Sadly there was no choice but to end his suffering. Unfortunately this leaves his mate alone with a nest and eggs that she is sitting on too.
“Witnesses said a man was walking two large dogs who attacked the bird, and we would like to speak to him.
“We’d like him, or anyone who knows who he is, to call us on our appeal line 0300 123 8018.”
This was the third swan attacked by a dog in South Yorkshire that the RSPCA has dealt with in the past couple of weeks.
An injured swan was spotted with blood running from a wound on her neck on the River Rother at Woodhouse Mill, Sheffield on Thursday 9 April. She was rescued by the RSPCA and officers from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue then taken to a local veterinary practice. Two puncture wounds were found, which were cleaned before antibiotics were given and she was released back to her mate, nest and eggs.
Another swan who’d been injured by a dog while sitting on a nest at Frecheville Pond, Sheffield was rescued, treated and released back to her mate, nest and eggs on Thursday 2 April.
“The previous two swans were very lucky to survive,” said RSPCA Chief Inspector Lynsey Harris. “More often than not that isn’t the case, and sadly this time the swan was fatally hurt.
“We ask that dog-owners be aware that there may be wild animals present in the area when walking their dog and to keep them under control at all times.”
Dog owners have a legal responsibility under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 to keep their dog under control in a public place.
Swans, their nests and their eggs are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
For more information about what to do if you find a wild animal in need of help, please visit the RSPCA’s website: https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/injuredanimals
The RSPCA is continuing an emergency-only service through the lockdown period.
To help the RSPCA keep rescuing animals like these in these unprecedented times, please donate whatever you can spare at www.rspca.org.uk/covid