null One of our officers had face spat in whilst trying to rescue a swan

One of our officers had face spat in whilst trying to rescue a swan

A group of teenagers spat at our officer whilst she was saving the swan

One of our officers had her face spat in by members of a group of teenagers who shouted "have Corona b****" whilst she was rescuing a swan in Hull, East Yorkshire.

Animal Welfare Officer Leanne Honess-Heather was helping a swan who was tangled in fishing line when she was approached by the five male youths aged 16 or 17.

The incident happened on Saturday (21 March) close to Rush Lyvars Fishing lake, Preston Road, Headon, Hull.

Our officer was harassed for doing her job

Leanne said:

While the rescue itself was much the same as any other, the reaction from these teenagers was far from it.

The group were in the park nearby and walked over to see what I was doing. I was on my own and wrestling with the swan on the ground when I asked them to stand back for their and the swan's sake.

They seemed to take offence to this, which led to two of the group spitting directly into my face, going in my mouth and eyes, as they yelled "have Corona b****" at me.

Like many other frontline services, most of my team are still out during this crisis, trying our best to continue to do our job, tending to, collecting and rescuing injured animals.

It's really challenging working in these difficult conditions and we are doing our very best to keep ourselves and the public safe, while helping the animals who most need us, so this was a really upsetting experience.

I'm happy to say the swan had no long-term injuries and, after being cut free of the fishing line at the vets and being checked over, I released him back to the river.

We're currently providing an emergency-only service

We're providing an emergency-only service to animals through the coronavirus crisis in the wake of Government advice.

To help us to continue helping animals in emergency need of care please donate online or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181. Or you can:

Many owners are concerned about caring for their pets amid the Coronavirus - or Covid-19 - outbreak. Therefore, we're regularly updating our coronavirus hub page with advice, activities and news.