ANIMAL rescuers have been left devastated after a swan was attacked by a dog.

The bird was left badly injured on the afternoon of May 12 after being bitten at Thames Valley Park.

Members of Swan Support posted the graphic image on social media and berated the dog's owner for failing to keep it on a lead.

Wendy Hermon said: "This is the second dog attack on a nesting female we have been to in the past week.

"This has to stop. Dog owners should be held accountable for the actions of their dog."

The team are not yet sure if the injured swan will make a recovery, after suffering extensive injuries to the side of the body.

Ms Hermon added: "We had one in Andover last week and that one was really bad. I think it is absolutely disgusting.

"I am normally polite on Facebook, but I have had enough of it. I am a dog owner myself. I wouldn't walk my dog off a lead.

"It has really kicked off on Facebook, because people say their dog would not harm the animals."

Swan Support is urging dog owners to keep their pets on a lead in open spaces with wildlife to help prevent such incidents.

She added: "Last year, at a lake in Berkshire, a guy walked his dog around the lake for two years and one morning it mauled two signets.

"He called us and was absolutely devastated. You think you know your dog, but you can't guarantee it.

"We have had birds with worse injuries survive. Please keep your dogs on a lead, even if you think they won't do anything.

"They're animals; we don't control their minds. Another thing that really upsets us as an organisation is the idea that they are just chasing them around and playing with them.

"I am really angry, because it is a whole family unit that has been wrecked because of this. I am not saying people should not take their dogs out for walks.

"Just do the responsible thing."

Anyone who witnessed the incident is urged to call Swan Support on: 07968 868172.