In a tragic event at Lake Eola Park in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday afternoon a one-year-old white male swan, named Joe, was seriously injured during a savage attack by a small dog, described as a Dachshund. A witness claims the owner removed the dog’s leash and urged it to attack the friendly, gentle bird.
Park rangers reported the incident to police Tuesday morning, March 5, according to the Orlando Sentinel. A witness told the rangers that she saw a man take the dog off its leash at the downtown Orlando park and allow it to attack the swan at about 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The witness photographed the attack and the owner's face and submitted the photos to police, according to the report.. Investigators have not released the name or photo of the owner.
Orlando police say they are trying to determine if the Dachshund's owner actually intended for his dog to attack Joe. If the investigation proves that the owner did encourage the attack, he will likely face animal-abuse and neglect charges, according to the report.
Veterinarians at the Winter Park Veterinary Hospital were forced to euthanize the beautiful young swan after examining him and determining that he had suffered severe nerve damage to his leg and had "little chance of recovery," according to police documents.
Lake Eola Park manager Chris Wallace told the Orlando Sentinel before the swan was put down, that Joe would never again be able to walk on the injured leg or care for himself because of the injuries.
Swans have lived at Lake Eola since the 1920’s and are a great attraction to tourists and local residents. Joe was one of more than 50 swans at the park, according to Wallace. He was hatched on the park grounds in 2012 and was valued at about $500.
"It's kind of a shock," Wallace stated. "I don't understand why someone would think it's OK to encourage their dog to attack a swan. I don't know what was going through that guy's mind to think it was OK."
Source: Orlando Sentinel