A Louth woman is calling for dog owners to be careful in Hubbards Hills after she witnessed the heartbreaking death of a duckling after a confrontation with a dog which was not on a lead.
The distressing incident was witnessed by Alison Eades in the ponded river near the play area last Saturday (July 28).
Alison said: “I was walking in Hubbards Hills when a jogger and his dog overtook me. Just ahead, I saw the dog get excited and pouncing at the edge of the water.
“The jogger came back, put a lead on the dog and ran on.
“Then I saw a duck splash wildly in the water and I realised it was tossing a duckling above the water again and again and again, in an effort to revive it.
“I don’t know if the dog bit the duckling or just frightened it to death, but the mother was distraught and her calls gathered all the other ducks to the area.”
Alison continued: “It is hard for dog owners, there are so few places they can go, and even fewer where the dogs can run free. But we have so little wildlife in Lincolnshire as it is and one dead duckling is one too many.
“There is a sign near the ponded river where the ducklings are that says keep dogs on a lead because it is a children’s play area - but it is also home to some of the few wildlife we are lucky enough to be able to get close to.
“Let me leave you with the image of a floating - not swimming - duckling on its side, with its head lolling in the water and a mother pushing it, tossing it, splashing at it, quacking repeatedly, desperately, with other ducks approaching.
“Dog owners need to take more control of their dogs in our local haven Hubbards Hills. Lets take more care.”
Chairman of the Hubbards Hills Trust, Andrew Leonard, said: “Regrettably this is not the first time that this sort of incident has occurred.
“The witness saw one less bird in what is a very depleted group of ducks this year.
“As with most other issues in the Hills, members of the public need to accept responsibility for themselves and their dogs.
“Whilst there are signs indicating areas and times of the year for dogs to be on leads, there are a lot of people who feel it doesn’t apply to their animal.
“We are in the height of the summer season with children about and it will not be long before a child is bitten by a dog at this rate.
“A dangerously out of control dog in a public place can attract prosecution of the owners and could result in their animal being destroyed.”
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