Reward to find dog owner in goose attack

TODAY a family of Canada Geese are happily swimming together after a group of goslings were horrifically orphaned following a dog attack.It is believed the goslings have been adopted by another goose family after a bloodthirsty dog attacked and killed their parent.

TODAY a family of Canada Geese are happily swimming together after a group of goslings were horrifically orphaned following a dog attack.

It is believed the goslings have been adopted by another goose family after a bloodthirsty dog attacked and killed their parent.

And animal cruelty officers have today stepped up their appeal to find a brave woman who put herself between the dog and the goose during the attack in Christchurch Park.

The Evening Star is also backing the RSPCA's efforts by offering a £250 reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the prosecution of the dog's owner.

The woman risked injury to pull the terrier from the goose as it attacked the bird while park users watched in horror.

RSPCA inspector John Bowe said: "It's the lady who actually spoke to the dog owner who holds the key to it all. She needs to come forward so we can get evidence from her."

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Officers were called to the round pond near Christchurch Mansion at about 3.45pm on June 9 following a report that a goose had been seriously injured in the attack.

They found the Canada goose unable to swim due to injuries it had suffered to a wing and were forced to put it down.

Witnesses have told how the lady, aged in her 30s, shouted at the dog owner to control his dog and put it on a lead but instead he is said to have encouraged his pet to attack the bird. It was the lady's screams that alerted parks staff to the attack.

Mr Bowe said: "It beggars belief why somebody would do that. He's got no respect for wildlife at all.

"The person has got to be cautioned as a minimum because if it happens again he needs to be prosecuted. What we would ideally like to do is bring forward a prosecution in this instance."

The dog owner was aged in his 20s while his dog was thought to have been a Staffordshire terrier, which had a light-coloured coat.

Councillor Judy Terry said: "This was an abhorrent act of mindless cruelty and it caused much distress to park users and staff.

"I feel very strongly that firm action must be taken and we are taking steps to ensure that anyone guilty of such appalling behaviour is banned from using our parks."

n. Anyone with information about the identity of the dog owner or the woman who tried to save the goose should call the RSPCA on 0870 5555 999.

n. Do you know the brave woman who tried to help? Call the Evening Star news desk on 01473 324788

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