A SWAN was mauled to death by a dog in Andover today (Sunday), prompting residents to urge owners to keep dogs on leads.

The incident is believed to have happened at Anton Lakes this morning.

A witness on Facebook has described the incident, in which a swan was “attacked and killed” by a dog that had been let off its lead.

She said that she and another onlooker did all they could to help the swan, but it was “bleeding so badly” that it died in her arms.

A vet has been informed and the incident has been reported to the correct authorities.

The Advertiser has contacted Test Valley Borough Council, which manages Anton Lakes, for a comment on the situation.

Details of the attack have prompted an outpouring of sympathy from social media users.

One person wrote: "So upset to hear of a Swan that got killed by a dog, so sad."

The incident has also fuelled a debate about keeping dogs on leads near wildlife.

One commenter wrote: "The problem is that some owners think their dog is okay off lead… but all they need is that trigger unfortunately."

Another added: “All dogs in public places should be on leads.

“My dogs run around outside my workshop, but there is no one there and I am in the middle of nowhere, so there isn't a problem. But everywhere else I go they are on a lead.”

The witness who earlier described the attack added: “Can I please ask people when the swans or any other animals are out of the water pop your dog on a lead, even if you think you dog is ok.

“This was very emotional and I am still shaken, as I am sure the owner is.

“I don’t want to bash anyone just please take care when out and about.”