The UK lawyer whose dog attacked Freddie the seal by the River Thames will not face criminal charges.
Oxford-educated commercial lawyer Rebecca Sabben-Clare said in a statement that she was ‘heartbroken by this terrible accident’ and apologized.
Sabben-Clare attempted to pull her dog off the 10-month old seal but the animal suffered serious injuries and was euthanized at South Essex Wildlife Hospital in Tilbury.
“As an animal lover, I fully understand the dismay that has been expressed. I apologize unreservedly for what happened,” the lawyer said. “I am hugely grateful to all those who helped at the scene, they were heroic.”
Sabben-Clare also made a donation to the hospital which treated the beloved seal and praised the ‘wonderful work’ it did.
According to the Metropolitan Police, there would be no criminal charges or further investigation in the case.
“Police have investigated the death of a seal after it was injured by a dog on the River Thames near Hammersmith Bridge,” a spokesperson said. “Officers attended the location at approximately 12.39hrs on Sunday, March 21 along with colleagues from the London Fire Brigade.”
“Following the investigation, there will be no further criminal investigation or criminal action taken by police in regards to this matter.”
RSPCA interviewed the dog owner and concluded that the incident was not a case of deliberate cruelty, hence they will not press charges or conduct any further investigation.
“We investigate animal welfare offenses,” the charity stated. “Dog attacks on animals would become an animal welfare offense if it was done deliberately.”
“If no offenses have been committed under relevant animal welfare acts we are unable to take incidents further,” the charity explained. “Offences involving dogs out of control are investigated by the police.”
“In this instance, we spoke to the owner and as this was not a case of deliberate cruelty, it is not an offense we would investigate.”