A dog had to undergo life-saving surgery after swallowing a fishing line and two hooks left lying on a park bench.
Husband and wife Mairi Summers and Jonathan Clough looked on with horror as their five-year-old Labrador Collie cross Reilly made a beeline for the discarded rod.
Despite the pair, both 46, managing to remove one of the hooks from his tongue, the other slipped down Reilly’s throat before getting caught in the lining of his stomach.
The couple, from Falkirk, has been forced to pay a £1,000 surgery bill — a fee that could yet rise as Reilly’s spleen has swollen since the operation.
The incident happened earlier this month in Falkirk’s Callendar Park — where fishing is strictly prohibited.
Pup Reilly is now recovering from the horrendous ordeal at home.
But his owners have warned anglers of the potentially fatal consequences which come with ignoring ‘no fishing’ rules in public places.
Charity worker Mairi said: “My dog is making a slow recovery but required major life-saving surgery at great expense.
“We’re hoping he’ll recover because he’s a young, fit dog.
“The vet was shocked by the situation and only his swift intervention prevented an accident turning into a tragedy.
“Irresponsible fishing practice puts others at risk.”
Jonathan, an IT consultant, said he thinks the people people responsible had been trying to catch Pike.
It involves a small fish for bait with two hooks connected by several inches of metal wire – one hook in the bait and the other to catch the Pike
He added: “Needless to say this has caused our dog considerable suffering and much upset to our family.”
Having reported the incident to Falkirk Community Trust (FCT) and police, Mairi is hopeful the incident won’t be repeated.
She added: “I would hate any other Callendar Park users or their dogs to be injured by anglers who shouldn’t even be there.”
Claire Mennim, FCT parks and sustainability team leader, said: “We have been in contact with the dog’s owner who did entirely the right thing reporting the incident to the police.
“We advise that fishing is not a suitable activity at Callendar Park due to the high levels of mixed public access.
“Fishermen are moved on by park staff if spotted, but we cannot patrol the lake at all times and therefore clear signage is placed at regular intervals around the lake.
“The wildlife officer from the police is requesting additional patrols of the site and we will be updating the signage around the lake to ensure it is eye-catching and frequently positioned.
“We hope that the injured dog recovers.”
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police in Falkirk received a report from the member of the public on Saturday 19th May, raising concern over the possibility of illegal fishing within Callendar Park.
“The report was made after the caller’s dog ingested a fishing hook in the area and required veterinary treatment.
“Inquiries are ongoing and the Wildlife Crime Officer has been informed along with the Callander Estate.”