11:00AM, Friday 31 May 2019
A swan rescue centre has launched a campaign urging dog owners to be aware of the dangers of letting their pets loose around wildlife following a number of attacks on swans.
In the past 10 days, Swan Support, a rehabilitation centre based in Horton Road, Datchet, has cared for three female swans with cygnets who were all victims of dog attacks.
Although this spate of attacks is uncommon, Wendy Hermon, Swan Support team and rescue co-ordinator, wants the public to be aware that dogs can always pose a threat to wildlife.
“Two weeks ago in Windsor a member of the public called Swan Support in tears after a dog raced into the river to chase swans,” she said.
The dog, who was off the lead at the time, harassed the swans for almost 10 minutes while his owner struggled to regain control.
On Monday the charity posted details on Facebook of another attack in which a swan family was ‘destroyed’ by an out-of- control dog near Reading.
In order to spread awareness about the problem, Swan Support is asking for young artists to design a poster that informs dog owners about the need to keep their pets under control in areas where wildlife is present.
Wendy said: “I want it to be clear I’m not anti-dog.
“I have dogs myself who have been brought up around swans and geese – but I still couldn’t trust them to walk off the lead around wildlife.”
Swan Support wants children to create an A4 poster warning dog owners to be careful in areas frequented by wildlife.
All entries must be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to Swan Support, Queen Mother Reservoir, Horton Road, Datchet SL3 9HN.
The deadline for entries is Friday, June 7.
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