A man and a woman have been reprimanded on social media for putting their dog’s life in danger after they threw a ball into a fast flowing river, almost killing the pooch.
The couple were spotted on the bridge over the River Calder in Padiham Memorial Park on Monday, throwing a ball for their dog, before a passer-by noticed it had jumped into the river and had become tangled on a plastic sheet.
The poor pooch, believed to be a black and white collie, was helped to safety by the passer-by, known only as Jules, who later posted images on social media saying it was ‘exhausted’ and had ‘swallowed a lot of water’.
Jules said: “It was stupid with the water so high. The first time it went in the dog was nearly swept away.
“There was no way anything or anyone could have crossed the river that on that day.”
According to Jules, there were broken trees, clothing, and plastic in the water, visible from the bridge, but the dog owners continued throwing the ball into the river, seemingly ignorant to the fact their pet may have become tangled or injured.
She added: “The third time he went in the poor dog got stuck on a sheet and was swept into a tree, which was snapped – you can see it at the base of the wall in one of the photos.
“It was pinned and couldn’t get out.
“We shouted to them and they absolutely didn’t care.
“We managed to get the dog to look at us and change direction and it eventually got free but its head was under for ages, it came to us absolutely exhausted and had swallowed loads of water.”
At first, Jules said she thought the dog’s owners had made a mistake by not putting its lead on, but soon realised the actions were deliberate.
She claims the man, who was wearing a green parka and spoke with a Padiham accent, said he would continue throwing the ball and would jump into the river if the dog was in danger.
She continued: “He said the dog was used to it.
“The way it was stuck it wouldn’t surprise me if it had puncture wounds or cuts from the tree, as well as secondary drowning, or even being sick from the water that’s coming off all the farms.
“Common sense would have been putting it on a lead the first time it swam across struggling.
“I just hope the dog is ok and they actually realised how stupid it was.
“It very nearly died, if we hadn’t been there it would have drowned.”
Jules said following the incident the man began hurling abuse at her before running off, adding: “He should have been thanking us for saving his dog’s life.
“I have no doubt they will do it again, they absolutely don’t deserve a dog.”
The incident was reported to the RSPCA who said without any further details they would unfortunately not be able to act.