Oxford-trained commercial lawyer Rebecca Sabben-Clare told the Evening Standard that she wished to “apologize wholeheartedly” for the “terrible accident” that took place in London on Sunday.
The high-flying legal eagle also said she wished she had kept her dog on a leash.
The 10-month-old seal could not be rescued after being maimed by Sabben-Clare’s dog near the Hammersmith Bridge over the Thames. It is not known what breed the dog is.
Gruesome footage captured Freddie being attacked as the woman and four passers-by attempted to lift the jaw of her dog from the marine mammal, which suffered a fracture, fin and joint dislocation, as well as ligament and nerve damage .
Freddie was ultimately euthanized, causing a wave of grief and condemnation targeting the lawyer.
“My heart is broken by this terrible accident,” Sabben-Clare told Standard.
“As an animal lover, I fully understand the dismay that has been expressed. I apologize wholeheartedly for what happened. Looking back, of course, I would have liked the dog to be on a leash, but at the time it didn’t seem necessary to me, ”she said.
“I am extremely grateful to everyone who helped at the scene. They were heroic. I left for my own safety and that of my dog, believing that there was nothing I could do to help as the seal was being treated by a vet and help had been called. I offered my contact details to the vet before leaving, ”added the besieged woman.
Sabben-Clare – who lives in an $ 8 million house with her husband – said she contacted authorities after leaving the gruesome scene.
“Early yesterday morning I contacted the police to tell them about the incident and I was directed to the RSPCA,” she said.
“The RSPCA interviewed me and confirmed that they are happy that no infractions have been committed. I attempted to contact the police again yesterday afternoon, in response to a statement from them that they wanted to identify and speak to me. They still haven’t been in contact, ”continued Sabben-Clare.
“I made a donation to the Wildlife Hospital which treated the seal. What a wonderful job it does, ”she added.
The law does not require dogs to be kept on a leash in open spaces, but it is illegal for them to be “dangerously out of control” anywhere, according to the Standard, who cited possible penalties of up to ‘at six months in the slammer.
The RSCPA has said it can only investigate violations under the Animal Welfare Act, which involves cruelty to animals, The Sun reported.
“We are deeply saddened by what happened to Freddie and it shows why it is important to keep dogs on a leash around wild animals,” the animal welfare agency said.
“Dog attacks on animals would become an animal welfare offense if done deliberately. If no offense has been committed under the Animal Welfare Act, we cannot take the incidents any further, ”he said, adding that incidents involving out-of-control dogs do under police investigation.
Met police have said they will not launch an investigation into the tragedy.
“As a result of the investigation, there will be no further criminal investigation or action taken by the police in this regard. The owner of the dog has been notified, ”he said, The Sun reported.