To all the vets that refused to help a badly injured swan, I say shame on you all! I don't need to identify you; you all know who you are!

Early on Saturday morning I was contacted by one of my houseboat neighbours, frantically trying to help a badly injured swan that lie next to his boat.

He came to me because he knew my wife and myself are friends with a local lady that takes in and looks after injured waterfowl.

I came and took a look which shocked and distressed me. The swan was lying on some weed, covered in blood, with a shattered right wing. What was left of the wing was hanging on by just skin, and there was a large section of bone protruding at its shoulder.

By the marks on the mud, we could see that the swan had staggered some distance, dragging what remained of its wing behind it, as it looked for a place to hide. Eventually exhausted and shattered it could go no further.

As the swan lay there, it tried its best to bite off what was left of its wing bones. The poor creature must have been terrified and in agony.

I contacted my rescue lady friend, and she contacted her husband, a woodsman who was working in the forest.

My neighbour began calling the RSPCA and all the vets he could. At this point there was nothing we could do for the swan but watch. We kept our distance, and kept quiet so as not to add any more stress to the bird.

The RSPCA said there was no direct action they could take, but would cover any vet's bill. Two other rescue services were unavailable so messages were left. One by one each and every vet contacted refused to help saying they were too busy!

One vet from Ryde did ring back later to see if they could help, but by then it was all over.

Within minutes of the rescue lady and her husband arriving the swan had been captured and carefully loaded into a "swan bag" for lifting and transportation.

The rescue lady's husband was amazing, he knew exactly how to approach the swan, capture it, fold its shattered wing, and get it into the carry bag. The bird was hissing as loudly as it could, and would have put up a fight if it could, but within 2 minutes, he was quiet and on his way to her farm.

We told her that all the vets contacted had said, can't help, too busy, and she said "I'm not surprised, I get this all the time with vets, they are not interested in wild animals!" She contacted a vet she knows well, a Frenchman living on our island, who put all our countrymen to shame by dropping what he was doing, and was at the farm waiting when the swan arrived.

Unfortunately, the swan, a young male, was so badly injured there was no way its wing could be fixed. The swan had lost so much blood and was in such distress, the only kind thing to do was to end its life, and end its suffering.

When the rescue lady phoned me to tell me the bad news, she was already in tears. By the time that call ended, she wasn't the only one!

I want to say to each and every vet that was asked to help and refused, that when an animal lies injured and in distress, and a member of the public contacts you for help, we don't give a damn how busy you are, nobody does! we don't want to hear what you can't do; we want to hear what you can do and how quickly you can do it!

If it was up to me, I would cancel your licence to practice veterinary care with immediate effect. And don't any of you dare come to Bembridge Harbour to look at the swans, you have forfeited that pleasure!

Don't anybody dare say to me it was just a swan!