Dog owners are being told to be vigilant after a man nearly had his pet stolen while out for a walk.
The man had been walking his dog in Jeanfield Park in the Letham area of Perth on Wednesday, when a would-be thief unclipped his small dog from its lead and tried to make off with it.
Thankfully, the pooch was able to jump free from the thief and ran back to its owner.
However, dog owners are now being warned to stay alert and take extra precautions in case the thief tries something similar again.
Katie McCandless-Thomas, from Dog Friendly Perthshire, said: “The gentleman had been walking his dog at Jeanfield Park on a flexible lead and someone came up to unclip it and take the dog.
“It is shocking, I am speechless because you don’t think something like that is going to happen so close to home.
“It is very, very rare to have dog thefts here, it is not a common occurrence.
“The dog owner is quite shaken up and understandably angry as well because it has given him a bit of a fright.
“Having someone take your dog is a legitimate concern for many and now there may be someone still out there planning to do something like this.
“If people are concerned they could try walking some place where they know there will be other people about like a public park.
“I know this can be difficult because of the coronavirus outbreak, but maybe people could consider walking with someone else with social distancing.
“For those who don’t have that option they could give a friend or a family member an idea of where they are going on a walk.
“People should not let their dog off the lead in an unknown, dark area and try and keep their dogs close to them.”
The charity is also urging all dog owners to make sure their pets are microchipped and the information is up-to-date.
Katie added: “Dog owners should take extra precautions to make sure their dog is microchipped and all the contact information is up-to-date.
“This needs to be done by law but people might not have registered their dog yet in lockdown or maybe they have moved house or got a new phone and not updated this information on the microchip.
“Microchips are such a good way for reuniting dogs who go missing.
“But if a dog is also wearing an ID tag, they could be reunited with their owner even quicker because they wouldn’t need to wait for the microchip to be scanned.”
Police Scotland were called following the incident, with officers attending shortly after.
A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “Police were called at around 7pm on Wednesday, June 1 following the report of an attempted dog theft in Jeanfield Park, Perth.
“After speaking with the complainer, no criminality was established.”