A GP is heartbroken after her beloved pet was dognapped outside a supermarket.
Maria Galea, 57, tied whippet Zero to bike railings outside the Bank of Scotland in Roseburn Terrace at around 8.30pm on Wednesday evening as she went into a shop. But when she returned, four-year-old Zero was nowhere to be seen.
Maria, who lives in Murrayfield with her husband George, also 57, said: “It’s heartbreaking. I hate to think what’s happening to him.
“I wanted to buy a pint of milk from the Co-op. So I tied Zero up outside at the bike shelter of the Bank of Scotland, I looked over and there was a man stood next to him.
“He was on his mobile and I didn’t think much of it.
“When I got came out of the shop I couldn’t see Zero – the man wasn’t there and neither was the dog. Someone at the bus stop said his owner had taken him away.
“I ran along towards Murrayfield to see if I could see him.
“When I returned to the bus stop there was a shady-looking guy standing there – he called me over and said, ‘Are you looking for a dog? Because I saw him over at the flats.’
“I went to have a look but he wasn’t there and when I came back he said, ‘you haven’t looked far enough’.
“Now I think the shady character told me that on purpose so the person who had taken him could get away, I think they have probably headed along the Water of Leith.
“I shouted and shouted on Zero, but there was nothing.”
Maria and her family have put up posters calling for the return of Zero, who is a larger than average-sized whippet with a blue brindle with white patches. The dog has been microchipped.
She said she had no idea why someone would steal the much-loved family pet.
Maria said: “My friends said they might have sold him on, or they might be trying to breed him because he hasn’t been neutered.
“Maybe it’s for racing as he is very fast. It’s very upsetting. All his toys are lying in the middle of the room.”
The family has had Zero since he was just 18 months old and are concerned because he has a “timid” nature and often refuses to eat when they are not around.
A police spokesman said: “Lothian and Borders Police are investigating after a dog was stolen from outside a shop in Roseburn Terrace at around 8.30pm on Wednesday 7 November.
“The beige-coloured whippet was taken by a male described only as being white, around 5ft 9ins tall and with a slim build.”
Anyone who can help reunite Zero with his owner is asked to call the police on 0131-311 3131 or Emma Galea on 07972 062 305.
HUNGRY KITTEN RORY RESCUED FROM BINS
A starving five-week-old kitten has been rescued after being found beside some bins.
The Scottish SPCA, which has named the kitten Rory, said the animal was found outside Oxcars Court flats in the Muirhouse Grove area of the city.
The charity believes the long-haired male kitten may have been abandoned or somehow escaped from its owner.
The incident was reported by the woman who found the kitten on Thursday evening and it is now recovering at the charity’s Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre.
Animal Rescue Officer Steph Grant said that at just five weeks old, the animal should not be outdoors.
She added: “At this stage we can’t say whether Rory has been abandoned or has gone missing from home.
“At just five weeks old he is far too young to be outside, so we’re thankful he was found by someone who helped him.
“Kittens are usually fully weaned at five or six weeks, but they should remain with their mum until they’re eight weeks old.
“Rory is slightly underweight and when I gave him food it was clear he was very hungry.
“Despite his ordeal he is an incredibly friendly kitten and we’re so glad he’s safe now.”
Anyone with information about Rory should contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.