A Tayside woman has urged dog owners to keep their pets under control after witnessing the horrific sight of a swan being savaged on a busy local beach.
Cath Young and her husband could only watch helplessly from their seafront home at Monifieth as the large dog attacked the protected bird on Monday afternoon, leaving it to be carried away on the incoming tide.
Police have been informed about the incident and Mrs Young said the gruesome spectacle had been a “vicious, nasty attack”.
She said the dog, a large, tan-coloured hound-type animal, ran into the large number of swans which are around the area at present and attacked its victim before eventually returning to its owner’s command.
The female owner did not approach the dead or injured bird, according to the witness.
Mrs Young said the distressing incident happened around 1.30pm, when she and husband, Everett, were looking out towards the beach.
“There are such a lot of swans down there just now, probably over 100 at times. We were on our balcony and the dog just ran right in there and got the swan.
“The owner saw what the dog was doing, she called it back and it eventually returned, and then she just walked off,” added Mrs Young.
The couple called police but the carcass of the dead bird had already been washed out to sea.
“I don’t know if it was killed on the beach or if it died in the water because of the attack, but it was a terrible thing to see. There was nothing we could do.
“I’ve seen it happen before with other dogs, but this was a particularly vicious, nasty attack,” continued Mrs Young.
“I just want to make people aware that this can happen. It’s a very busy area but if they are out walking their dogs and they think this might happen then they should not let them off the lead.
“The majority of dogs seem to be okay, but what happened was very unfortunate and I was very upset by it.”
Police Scotland confirmed that a report on the incident had been received, but investigating officers were unable to trace the bird and the matter was subsequently passed on to the area’s dog warden.