Family heartbroken as pet dog killed by swan in attack at Rother Valley Country Park

A family has been left devastated after their beloved pet dog was killed in an attack by a swan at Rother Valley Country Park.

By Claire Lewis
Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 10:21 am

Bruce, a Lhasa Apso and Bichon Frise cross, was being walked at the popular country park on Sunday when he was attacked by a swan in front of devastated owner Russ Barber and his two children.

Russ’ partner, Nicole Burgon, and her son also witnessed the horror attack along with shocked passers-by.

Bruce was struck three times by the swan’s wings after entering the water and despite efforts to halt the attack, the five-year-old family pet could not be saved.

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Bruce died after being attacked by a swan at Rother Valley Country Park (Photo: Hairystyles)

In a bid to raise awareness of the dangers swans can pose during the nesting season, Nicole, who runs Hairystyles, a pet grooming business in Warmsworth, Doncaster, posted details about the attack on Facebook.

Her post reads: “All dog owners please read.

“Yesterday my partner lost his dog in a horrific attack by a swan.

“These birds are extremely dangerous animals, the poor dog had no chance – three swipes with its wings and he was gone.

“I did not see any baby cygnets around so we assume it must have been protecting the other ducks that were around. There was no warning, it just swam straight for him and even though my partner jumped in it was too late. It took a matter of seconds for the swan to kill him.

“It was the most horrific thing to witness, I would not wish on anyone.

“Please think before you let your dog in open water and never trust a swan.”

She is calling for signs to be erected around the park warning dog owners not to allow their pets into the water.

“It all happened so quickly and Russ did his best to save Bruce and we tried to resuscitate him, but nothing could be done.

“There were no cygnets around but I know it is the natural instinct of swans to protect although I don’t think everyone appreciates how powerful they are.

“I would like there to be signs up now warning others that swans can attack and not to allow dogs into the water, because I would hate for this to happen again.”