The UK lawyer whose dog attacked beloved seal Freddie Mercury, who later had to be euthanized due to his injuries, apologized for the tragedy, saying his death left her “heartbroken”.
Rebecca Sabben-Clare, an Oxford-educated business lawyer, told the Evening Standard that she wanted to “apologize without reservation” for the “terrible accident” in London on Sunday.
The soaring legal eagle also said he wished he had kept his dog on a leash.
The 10-month-old seal could not be saved after it was mutilated by the Sabben-Clare dog near Hammersmith Bridge on the Thames. It is not clear what breed the dog is.
Gruesome footage captured Freddie being attacked as the woman and four bystanders attempted to rip their dog’s jaws from the marine mammal, which suffered a broken bone, dislocated fin and joint, as well as ligament and nerve damage.
Freddie was eventually euthanized, prompting a torrent of pain and condemnation directed at the attorney.
“I am heartbroken by this terrible accident,” Sabben-Clare told the Standard.
“As an animal lover, I fully understand the dismay that has been expressed. I apologize unreservedly for what happened. In hindsight I wish, of course, the dog had been on a leash, but at the time that didn’t seem necessary, ”he said.
“I am enormously grateful to everyone who helped out on the scene. They were heroic. I left for my own safety and that of my dog, believing that there was nothing I could do to help, as the seal was being cared for by a vet and they had called for help. I offered my contact details to the vet before I left, ”added the woman in conflict.
Sabben-Clare, who lives in an $ 8 million home with her husband, said she contacted authorities after leaving the gruesome scene.
“I contacted the police early yesterday morning to speak to them about the incident and they directed me to the RSPCA,” he said.
“The RSPCA interviewed me and confirmed that they were happy that no crime had been committed. I tried to contact the police again on several occasions yesterday afternoon, in response to a statement from them that they wished to identify me and speak to me. They haven’t been in contact yet, ”Sabben-Clare continued.
“I have made a donation to the Wildlife Hospital that treated the seal. What a wonderful job it does, ”he added.
Dogs are not required by law to be tied up in open spaces, but it is illegal for them to be “dangerously out of control” anywhere, according to the Standard, which cited possible penalties of up to six months on the slammer.
The RSCPA said it can only investigate crimes under the Animal Welfare Act, which involve cruelty to animals, The Sun reported.
“We are deeply saddened by what happened to Freddie and this highlights why it is important to keep dogs on a leash around wild animals,” the animal welfare agency said.
“Dog attacks on animals would become an animal welfare offense if done deliberately. If no crimes have been committed under the Animal Welfare Act, we cannot take the incidents further, ”he said, adding that the police are investigating incidents involving runaway dogs.
The Metropolitan Police said they would not initiate an investigation into the tragedy.
“After the investigation, there will be no further criminal investigations and no action will be taken by the police regarding this matter. The dog’s owner has been informed, ”he said, The Sun reported.