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A Real Menace.  *May upset some people* | by Lisa Lawley
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A Real Menace. *May upset some people*

It would be nice to show you something else, but my heart isn't in it.


I really have had enough now. This is the third attack on a swan I have seen in 6 months. It is horrific to witness.


I haven't been out much lately. Today I was having a lovely time, sat under some trees, watching a gull diving in the water, watching the Swans and cygnets feeding and preening, Kingfishers darting and feeding, Little Egrets, Herons, Longtailed Tits, Grey Wagtails, and listening to nothing but the sound of running water by the river. Bliss. There were a few dogs here and there, but they were all under control, and no real bother at all.


Then I was alerted to a person constantly shouting and blowing a whistle. This dog, initially, came down to the waters edge (out of sight of owner) but eventually went back. The path is 20-30ft away from the edge of the water, with trees inbetween. The owner was on the path. We watched this dog running along the bank in the distance, until it disapeared. Then around half an hour later, we heard the dreaded whistle and shouting, and spotted the dog. I was just rolling my eyes at this point, trying not to worry too much.


Next thing, the dog runs past us, into the water towards Swans. The dog lunged at the Swan tearing out the tail feathers. We hysterically called out to the owner, who was unaware of what her dog was doing. The Swan broke free, momentarilly distracted by his owner, but then went back for a second go, this time, diving on top of the swan.


The owner appeared through the trees, and the dog spotted her this time and ran off through the shallow water. By this time, the school that banks the river, one of the pupils saw the dog and threw a ball at it to stop the dog going for the kill. He then jumped into the shallow water, and eventually grabbed the dog and returned it to his owner.


In the mean time, I rang the police. I told the woman to stop where she was, as the police were on their way. She put the dog onto the lead and began whipping him. I actually screamed at her to stop hitting her dog, because if anyone needed whipping it was her. She was more confused as to why the swan didn't hurt the dog, and surprised to learn that dogs should be in control. I stuggled contain my anger. This woman shouldn't have a dog.


The police arrived, and they weren't interested. Not in the welfare of the Swan, nor the owners behaviour. Simply observing the Swan and assuming it was ok and not even wanting to take any details. I'm afraid, that without going on about it, I was lucky I wasn't arrested.


I am truly sick of this. People always say that I shouldn't let incidents like this upset me, nor put me off, but it does. I feel physically sick, and sick of the law which is unenforceable. Aparently the law, although tightened up, is not enforced by the police. Instead, we are expected to phone the dog warden, get put on hold and then cut off. In the mean time, we can only watch as innocent wildlife is killed by irresponsible dog owners, who suffer no consequences for their actions. I can't actually believe the woman gave me her details, which I insisted she gave me before the police arrived, because she was attempting to walk off. So I myself have reported her for hitting her dog. Sickening.

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Taken on October 19, 2011