An injured pregnant cow has been rescued from a river after a suspected dog attack.
The cow was discovered by a passerby who heard her in distress in the River Ouse in Taylor’s Ride in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, in the early hours of Tuesday.
They found her with a wound down her left side, across her shoulder and neck.
She seemed unable to move as the water was up to half of her body and the river was extremely muddy and slippery, said the RSPCA.
The charity and Bedfordshire firefighters attended the scene, and it took seven men several hours to pull her out of the river.
RSPCA inspector Lauren Bailey said: “Not only was the cow injured but she was also pregnant so we knew we needed to be extra careful.
"I worked alongside the fire services who quickly sent a speciality team trained in animal rescue.
"However, it was still a tricky rescue and took a couple of hours to get the cow out of the river. We had to put rope underneath her and then carefully pull her out.
"She was a heavy girl and it took seven men and me to eventually pull her to safety.”
The farmer was informed and a vet was called to assess the cow.
Ms Bailey added: “Her injuries were indicative of a dog attack and there is a public footpath by the river so although we have no witnesses to the incident, we believe it is very likely that she was attacked by a dog."
She reminded dog walkers to keep their pets on a lead, saying that "even the most docile and obedient dogs can get distracted and excited by other animals".
Dogs are also in danger of being trampled by cattle and horses, she said.
And she urged farmers to have good fencing and signs to warn dog walkers about cattle in the area.
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