People who buy pet food have been warned to keep a close eye on their animals as there has been an increase in the number of pets being stolen for the purpose of being used as bait in dog fights, an expert has said.
Mike Flynn, Scottish SPCA chief superintendent, told the Edinburgh Evening News that owners should supervise their pets when outdoors.
He told the news provider: "There have been very worrying reports in recent times of cats, small dogs and puppies being stolen to be used as bait animals for dog fighting.
"It is very important that pet owners supervise their animals when they are outdoors, especially if they are very young."
Mr Flynn added that the SPCA is encouraging owners to microchip their pets so there is greater chance of them being returned if the animal is lost or stolen.
The SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) was established in England in 1824 to protect carriage horses from abuse.