A spate of attacks by dogs on wildlife has prompted a warning to keep pets under control.
The Scottish SPCA has reported what it said was a distressing rise in wild animals and livestock being injured, some of them fatally.
Among the incidents was an attack on a deer by a dog at St Andrews.
The animal charity said more walkers were taking to rural routes while they are unable to travel to parks or other walkways due to coronavirus restrictions.
It appealed to the public to keep dogs under control at all times.
Amy Stirton, Scottish SCPA animal rescue officer, said: “Pandemic or not, people should not let their dog off-lead if they cannot control them.
“I have now attended two deer in as many weeks which have been brought down by dogs.
“These deer often get away, but not before sustaining fatal injuries.
“This means we have to then try to find them so we can put them to sleep and prevent further suffering.
“Sometimes the deer end up in hard to reach places, meaning I need to call on another rescue officer or inspector to help me.
“This uses up vital resources at a time when we are already stretched to our limit by this pandemic.”
Ms Stirton also warned dog owners that the charity and dog wardens would be unable to help if their pet went missing, advising that during the pandemic dogs should be kept on leads at all times.
She said: “We’d also like to remind the public that at this time if their dog runs off and becomes lost, then nobody will be able to come out and search for it.
“Dog warden services are suspended due to coronavirus and we do not have the resources to search for missing animals.”
The charity’s animal helpline can be called at 03000 999 999.
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