Tim Newman spotted the animal while he was walking his dog on Tuesday evening (August 2.)
He initially thought the carcass was a dog, and said trying to resolve the problem has been a “catalogue of frustrations.”
“It was getting quite dark so I thought initially it might be a log but I went back in the morning and saw legs sticking out the water,” explained the 46-year-old who lives in Chancellor Park.
“All I could work out was that it was dog-shaped and dog-sized.
“I met another dog walker and spoke to her and she said she had seen it.
“The following day it was still there. Another lady said numerous people have reported seeing it and one of them was the waterways manager in charge of that stretch of the river.
“Someone else had seen it on Saturday. Numerous canoeists use it and could not have missed it.
“If it had been in the water for weeks in hot temperatures it could have been bad. The fact I could smell it from the bank means it probably had, it was quite potent.
“If any of the young canoeists capsized, what could they inhale?”
What indeed. So, how did the majestic (and costly) apparatus of government and NGO fare?
Tim contacted the RSPCA, who initially asked him whether what he described as a dead dog was distressed.
He continued: “I was like ‘it’s kind of past that.’“
Amusing, yes. But you have to wonder about the mentality of someone who phones the RSPCA for a creature clearly beyond any further cruelty…
He was redirected to Chelmsford City Council, who said it was the responsibility of the Environment Agency.
When he called the Environment Agency, Mr Newman claims they told him they only attend if it is big animal, like a horse, or multiple animals.
He was later advised it was down to the landowner.
Ah, that old bureaucratic shuffle: ‘Not our job, sorry..’
“We live in a beautiful city and there’s massive investment going on. I live here because I love the city and what we have on our doorstep and it’s frustrating that the local council do not care.”
Why should they? They get paid regardless.
He said: “Eventually, the girls from Pet Angels swam across the river and got the animal on to the bank and that’s when they discovered it was a badger, not a dog.
“I have respect for the girls at Pet Angels. It’s a shame members of the public had to swim in the river and get a dead animal out because nobody with the powers to sort it out would.
“They have done a fantastic job. It could have put them at risk.”
And now the council and other organisations know who’ll clean up if they just prevaricate long enough.