PET owners and anglers are being urged to take care of wildlife at Sutton Lawn after a swan was attacked by a dog for the second time in a matter of months and had to undergo treatment for lead poisoning.
Wendy Radford and Phil Else, who run Cedar Wildlife Sanctuary in Kirkby, have been caring for the male swan, known as Cobby, following the dog attack on 26th August and a subsequent bout of lead poisoning.
Cobby first hit the headlines at the beginning of last month when we reported he had been viciously attacked by a loose Staffordshire bull terrier at Sutton Lawn.
He later had to undergo emergency surgery to remove a fishing line, weight and hook blocking his throat - which meant he could not eat or drink.
In the latest incident, the swan was apparently attacked by a rottweiler cross before the dog’s owner left the area.
A witness, who asked not to be named, said: “I was getting ready to go out with my dogs. I saw Cobby near the car park at the bottom of Sutton Lawn, just by the nursing home.
“I decided to take him his own breakfast, which is something I very often do. I was just going out of the door and I could not believe my eyes as what appeared to be, at first sight, a black Labrador just ran up and attacked Cobby, biting and snarling.
“I ran over, I was screaming and shouting. When I got closer, I realised the dog wasn’t a Labrador at all, it looked like a rottweiler except it wasn’t the right colour and it had a tail.
“The owner could not have cared less - he was smirking and laughing whilst I was distraught. I was so upset, knowing what Cobby had just been through, it made me weep. I cannot believe that anyone could be so uncaring. His feathers were all over the place, just the same as when he was attacked by the Staffy.
“This swan is at least 18-years-old and I don’t know how much more he can take.”
The following day, Wendy and Phil went down to the Lawn and found that the same swan was also suffering from lead poisoning as a result of the fishing equipment he had swallowed.
Phil said “He seemed OK - it was not as bad as the previous attack.
“We had to go back to the Lawn to release a duck that had been shot.
“While we were there, we looked at Cobby and he did not seem very well at all. He was very tired and struggling to walk.
“He had got a very high level dose so we brought him back here and he has been on a course of treatment.”
Now Phil and Wendy want to see both dog owners and anglers, particularly youngsters, take more responsibility for the welfare of animals and birds.
“They have got to keep dogs on a lead, it’s as simple as that.
“They can go and run off but not near the water - it’s just common sense. You don’t let dogs near water where there are birds.”
To make a donation of £1 to the Cedar Wildlife Sanctuary text the message CEDA22 £1 to 70070 or call 07808929300 or 07792475736.