swan rescued from river weaver has died, says RSPCA

A swan rescued from the River Weaver in Nantwich after being attacked by a dog, has died.

The bird was rescued by RSPCA and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service officers off Manor Road North on Saturday afternoon (September 30).

It had suffered serious injuries and was found by a passer-by in the river.

When the RSPCA arrived, the swan was so far out into the weir assistance was required by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service to safely rescue her.

She was taken to the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre on London Road where her injuries were so serious she was put to sleep to prevent further suffering.

The RSPCA is now reminding dog-walkers to be cautious when near wildlife.

RSPCA Animal Welfare Officer Steve Wickham, who was part of the rescue operation, said: “Sadly she had a gaping wound on the side of her body and it was obvious that she was in a bad way when we rescued her.

“The wound was consistent with a dog attack.

“She had cygnets with her, who were not injured but sadly no longer have their mum coming back to them.

“It’s very sad and it could have been so easily avoided if someone had kept an eye on their dog while walking them.

“Sadly, this situation happens all too often and we would really urge dog owners to keep a look out for nearby swans, or any wildlife, when they are out on walks and keep their pets on leads. A bit of extra diligence could save lives.

“Dog owners have a legal responsibility under the Dangerous Dogs Act to keep their dog under control in a public place.”

Station Manager Paul Rowlands attended the incident along with firefighters from Chester and Powey Lane.

He said: “We were called to help an injured swan that was in the water.

“Firefighters wearing swift water rescue personal protection equipment used a sledge to get to the bird and bring it back and onto the bank.

“We were really upset to hear that the swan couldn’t be saved, after all our efforts, but we are happy that we were there to help it and that it didn’t suffer for too long.”

Swans, their nests and their eggs are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.


  1. JG says:

    Completely agree! It defies logic to have dogs running loose in a public place, and especially near main roads.

    Dogs should be on a lead and under control in every public place. It would be easy to enforce on-the-spot and apart from making the outdoors a safer place for wildlife and young children, it would also result in less dog mess left “unseen” by the dog owners responsible.

  2. Paul says:

    When will dog owners learn they should keep dogs on a lead

  3. Fred Murray says:

    Very angry this has happened yet again every year the same story.
    Dog owners have now to comply with these special open spaces measures that control bad behaviour such as fouling and running off a lead. Why are the council not dealing with this?
    I am sick of dog owners bleating to me when challenged “why is your dog off a lead?” ” oh he is harmless” an owner replies. NO HE IS NOT HARMLESS CLEARLY.
    What about young children that can be knocked over or bitten? A poor bird has no chance,
    I own two dogs, they have never run off lead in a park, they don’t need to, they have a back yard to bounce around in safety.

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