Dog owner says sorry for death of Freddie the seal

By The Editor

25th Mar 2021 | Local News

Ms Sabben-Clare, right, and her dog biting the seal near Hammersmith Bridge (picture: Duncan Phillips)
Ms Sabben-Clare, right, and her dog biting the seal near Hammersmith Bridge (picture: Duncan Phillips)

The owner of the dog which attacked a popular seal pup has offered her "unreserved" apologies.

Freddie Mercury, a harbour seal, had to be put down after Rebecca Sabben-Clare's dog attacked it on Sunday.

The tragic incident involving the seal pup which was well known in Richmond happened near Hammersmith Bridge.

"I am heartbroken by this terrible accident," Ms Sabben-Clare told the Evening Standard.

"As an animal lover, I fully understand the dismay that has been expressed. I apologise unreservedly for what happened. In hindsight I wish, of course, that the dog had been on a lead but at the time that did not seem necessary.

"I am hugely grateful to all those who helped at the scene. They were heroic. I left for my own safety and that of my dog, believing that there was nothing that I could do to help as the seal was being looked after by a vet and help had been called.

"I offered my contact details to the vet before leaving."

Yesterday police issued a witness appeal and said officers wanted to speak to the owner of the dog.

Ms Sabben-Clare who is a QC and commercial barrister said she was told by a leading animal charity that no crime had been committed and that she was struggling to make contact with the police.

"Early yesterday morning I contacted the police to speak to them about the incident and was directed to the RSPCA," she said.

"The RSPCA interviewed me and confirmed that they were happy that no offence had been committed. I tried to contact the police again repeatedly yesterday afternoon, in response to a statement from them that they wished to identify me and speak to me. They have still not been in contact.

"I have made a donation to the Wildlife Hospital which treated the seal. What wonderful work it does."

     

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