Monday, February 3, 2014

Swan Rescue Operation

A couple of local teenagers saw the swan first. There was something that wasn't quite right about this particular swan, floating with his head at a ninety degree angle to his body in the waters of Lake Lugano. The teens and Dachshund Daddy agreed that the swan was sick.

In Southern Switzerland, when you find an animal in distress, you can contact SPAB, a very special Humane Society based in the town of Bellinzona.

SPAB, the Bellinzona Society for the Protection of Animals, responds to emergencies involving pets or wild animals by sending one of their special trucks named after Barry. Barry was their St. Bernard dog who rescued humans from avalanches until his passing several years ago. The Barry truck is an ambulance for animals.

While Dachshund Daddy rode his bike to meet the SPAB truck and lead the crew to the exact location of the sick swan, one of the teens waded into Lake Lugano to bring the swan ashore.

Here's a SPAB volunteer right after his arrival on site...

lifting our swan friend...

and gently placing him in a special enclosure in the back of the Barry truck.

The swan was then driven to a vet. Please send good juju and healing thoughts his way. We'll keep you posted. The volunteers of the SPAB said they will let Dachshund Daddy know what happens.

Update: We are very sorry to share that our swan friend did not make it. The pet-ambulance volunteer said it was clear on the way to the vet that the swan was in very bad shape, but we don't yet know what was determined to be wrong. We do know that the vet helped the swan fly over the Rainbow Bridge. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. We really appreciate it.


  1. Poor thing! So glad the swan is getting help and hope all will be well.

  2. Good for you! We rescued a raccoon in the woods behind our house about a week or so ago. The county shelter came and picked him up and brought him to a wildlife rehab center for treatment.

    Would love to hear how it all turns out.

    --Woofs (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats.

  3. What a wonderful story! And what a wonderful service! Looking forward to the update :-)

  4. I'm glad there was a rescue squad to help him!

  5. That was so great that they all tried to help Mr. Swan. I will cross my paws that the vet can help him.

  6. Oh Well done DD and the teenagers (and the volunteer with the Barry truck). Oh I do hope the vets can help. But I fear that righting a swan's neck will be a difficult challenge, even for a tip top veterinarian. Paws crossed for good news.
    Toodle pip!

  7. Definitely want to hear how it turns out. No swan worth it's salt would lay there and be picked up by humans.

  8. We think he must have been sick to be picked up like that.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  9. I am sending lots of good juju,, I hope the swan gets all better and soon swimming again.

  10. Oh, that poor swan. I sure hope it gets well soon. I will send good thoughts! Keep us posted.
    *Cairn cuddles*

  11. Wow. Beautiful people who went out to help the swan!



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