A Dundee family are terrified for the safety of their missing dog after receiving a call demanding money for the return of the pet pooch.
Chocolate Labrador Rocco went missing from the garden of the McNeish family home in St Fillan’s Road on Tuesday.
It is believed Rocco initially managed to get himself out of the garden, with his family fearing he has then been snatched thereafter.
Owner, Kirsty McNeish, said: “We are becoming increasingly concerned about what has happened to Rocco, as four days after his disappearance there is still absolutely no sign of him.
Demands for money for safe return
“On Thursday night we received a phone call from a man demanding £1000 from us for Rocco’s safe return.
“We have absolutely no idea if this person has Rocco or not.”
“My husband Stephen took the call. The man on the other end of the phone had a strong Irish accent and said he had Rocco and he wanted money from us before we got him back.”
Rocco first disappeared at teatime on Tuesday when she let him out into the garden with the family’s other dog, Milo, a Jack Russell.
Kirsty added: “When I called them in for their tea Milo came but there was absolutely no sign of Rocco.
“We think he may have got himself out of the garden, he does like to go on a wander, but we have no idea what has happened to him since.”
Kirsty said that there were a few reported sightings of him to begin with but these began to dry up.
The family have put out appeals and posters, as well as speaking to the Missing Pets Dundee and Angus group who have also put out an appeal.
“We are going out ourselves searching and we have contacted the police,” Kirsty said.
“We just feel that if he was still in the area and has not been taken there would have been some sighting of him by now.”
Concerns over health
The family are also concerned that if someone has taken Rocco, they may not be looking after him properly and causing him any harm.
Four-year-old Rocco has a delicate stomach and is given special food by his owners, and can become ill if he isn’t fed the correct diet.
Kirsty added: “The whole family is absolutely heartbroken.
“We are so upset and not sleeping or anything.
“My youngest, Stevie-Amber, six, in particular is devastated and her sister Jessica, 10, is distraught too.
“It is so hard to know what to say to her to try to comfort her. This is just a dreadful situation for all of us.
“We desperately need to know if Rocco is alright and we just want him home as soon as possible.”
A Police Scotland spokesman said: ” We can confirm that a report was logged with Police Scotland on Tuesday evening relating to a chocolate Labrador dog going missing from St Fillan’s Avenue in Dundee.
“A subsequent report was made on Thursday evening, April, 29, relating to a call received by the dog owner requesting money for the return of the dog.”