A volunteer search group set up to find a beagle dog dumped at a Fife park say they are growing increasingly concerned for the animal’s welfare as temperatures plummet.
Dog lovers have come together to search Riverside Park in Glenrothes for the last week, including Christmas and Boxing Day in the hope of bringing the dog to safety.
The search has been orchestrated by Glenrothes resident, Bailey McIntyre, after a family member witnessed the dog being let loose from a white transit van in the park before it was driven away, abandoning the animal, nearly four weeks ago.
Despite numerous sightings from fellow dog owners, several search parties have failed to locate the dog.
Bailey said he is now growing increasingly concerned that the dog may not survive much longer if sub-zero temperatures continue.
He added: “It’s utterly heart-breaking to think someone has abandoned the dog like this.
“There have been sightings and the beagle is a female so we are also not ruling out that it may have given birth to a litter.
“With that in mind and the length of time the dog has been fending for itself, we are desperate to find it and give it the urgent veterinary attention.”
Since Christmas Day, Bailey has even left an insulated cage and food close to where there has been several recent sightings in the hope of attracting the dog but without success.
“Having set up a Facebook page to keep people informed, which has now attracted over 1,000 followers, people have been making donations and offers of help, one of which the offer of a dog cage,” said Bailey.
The group are now even planning to cook a barbecue in the park leaving the cooked meet out in the hope the smell will attract the missing canine.
However, Simon Chapman, founder of Fife based K9 Manhunt & Scent Work Scotland, which specialises in recovery, thinks the missing dog could survive for some time yet.
He said: “As a working breed, the missing dog will have now gone into survival mode and could continue to exist for weeks or months, even in the winter conditions.
“It’s a resilient breed, is a natural hunter and has a fantastic sense of smell so will find food no problem.
“We need to establish what routine the dog has and really urge people not to put food out as it will stop us from establishing the dogs natural behaviour pattern.
“We’ve installed four cameras in remote areas of the park in the hope of a sighting but had no success so far.
“As we have no scent article for the dog I can’t use mine to search for it so instead, once we know exactly where the dog is regularly frequenting we will set a humane trap so we can bring the dog to safety.”
Visitors to the park who may come across the missing animal are strongly urged not to approach the dog but contact Town Park Beagle Search Facebook with any sightings.