Man set dog on goose in park

ANIMAL cruelty officers today launched a hunt for a man who set his terrier on to a goose protecting its young in an Ipswich pond while park users watched in horror.

ANIMAL cruelty officers today launched a hunt for a man who set his terrier on to a goose protecting its young in an Ipswich pond while park users watched in horror.

The injuries suffered by the Canada goose during the Christchurch Park attack were so severe that it had to be put down.

RSPCA inspectors have been alarmed by reports from people in the park that the dog owner was encouraging his pet to attack.

The society's Inspector John Bowe said: "The worrying part of this is the man wasn't doing anything to restrain it and reports suggest he was encouraging it."

He added: "The goose was unable to swim or move very well. It was swimming lopsided.

"It was unable to fly. The injuries were quite severe."

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The attack happened at the round pond near Christchurch Mansion at about 3.45pm on Thursday, June 9.

The RSPCA is appealing for witnesses to come forward, particularly a woman who argued with the dog owner and called on him to put the dog on a lead.

Mr Bowe said: "There was a lady involved who was in her 30s who was trying to tell him to put the dog on the lead. It was her screams and the noise of the goose being attacked that alerted the parks staff."

The dog owner was in his 20s and the dog is believed to have been a Staffordshire terrier, which had a light-coloured coat.

Mr Bowe said: "People were screaming at him to put it on the lead and he wasn't helping the situation by not restraining his animal."

It is thought the goose was caught by the dog and bitten on the wing because it was protecting its young and the fate of the goslings since its death is unknown.

Anyone who witnessed the attack or has information about the dog owner should call the RSPCA on 0870 5555 999.

Ipswich Borough Council has called in the police over the attack and parks staff have been warned to be on the lookout for the dog owner.

A spokeswoman for the council said: "Our park patrol have been alerted to try to stop any repeat of this appalling incident."

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