British Divers Marine Life Rescue
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (photo: Steve Marsh)
British Divers Marine Rescue

News

2006-11-28 15:36:22

Pup Attacked By Dogs On Beach

I received a call from Elaine Roft regarding a seal pup in distress on Arbroath beach. Upon arrival, I was horrified to see a member of the public and four dogs surrounding the pup. I ran across the beach towards them and could plainly see that the dogs were harrassing and biting at the seal pup. I identified myself as a member of the BDMLR and immediately asked the man to remove his dogs from the area. His reply is unprintable!!! I again asked him to stop his dogs from attacking the pup and he came forth with a torrent of verbal abuse. I then informed him that seals carry a number of diseases and that his dogs could contract potentially fatal infections from the seal, so would he please remove his dogs from the scene. Once more I was subjected to a torrent of abuse.

All the time this was going on, his dogs continued to bite and pull at the pup. At times they were lifting and shaking the pup. I managed to put myself between the dogs and the pup and protect it to some degree. The man then moved off, still shouting abuse at me. At this point I took his picture as I feel all medics in the area should be aware of this 'gentleman' and his dogs.

When I took out the phone to inform Elaine of what was happening, he took the hint and moved off down the beach. I was then able to assess the pup...

The pup was a whitecoat with an obvious injury to its back left flipper. There was also a lesion around the left eye. there were small areas of blood on its right fore flipper and at the right edge of its mouth. How many of these injuries were the result of the dogs attacking, I don't know.. The pup was also shaking and looked very much the worse for wear...

Even without the said injuries, I would have had to uplift this pup just to be sure there was no repeat of the attack by the dogs. I spoke with Elaine and we agreed an uplift and transport to SSPCA Middlebank.

With the help of a police officer from Arbroath who had been called by Elaine to help assist, I uplifted the pup at 11.00am and proceeded directly to Middlebank. I arrived there at 12.45pm. The pup was immediately placed under a heat lamp as it was shivering badly, possibly through shock!

The pup named "Cal" was renamed "Jim" by the staff at Middlebank and reference number 2456 given. Progress reports as we get them..

Allan Muir
Marine Mammal Medic
Tayforth Regional Co-ordinator

Today's incident has been reported to local WCLO by Elaine

Thanks to Sue White (BDMLR Head Office), Elaine Roft (Montrose / Arbroath Co-ordinator), Allan Muir (Tayforth Co-ordinator), Tayside Police (Central Control Dundee), Tayside Police (Arbroath), SSPCA Middlebank