The owners of a dog that went missing and sparked a major rescue operation have been awarded compensation – but will donate it to the emergency services.
Pepsi, a black Patterdale Terrier, slipped off its lead while out with a Portlethen dog-walking service in April.
A coastguard rescue operation was launched, which also involved Aberdeen inshore lifeboat, amid fears the pooch had plunged off of a cliff at Findon.
The animal was subsequently found after a two-day search where hundreds of people scoured the streets to help owners Claire and Simon Muir, from Aberdeen, find their beloved pet.
Now the couple have been awarded £750 in vets fees from K9 Health Centre, who had been in charge of Pepsi when it went missing.
It also emerged the Muirs had not been informed their pet was missing for more than three hours after it disappeared.
The couple now plan to hand over the cash to the coastguard, the RNLI and a third Portlethen cause which has still to be decided.
Last night, Mrs Muir said they had spent many weeks trying to get to the bottom of what happened and warned other dog owners to be careful before leaving their pets with a service.
She said: “Whilst we don’t want to tar dog walkers with a bad name – especially passionate small companies and dedicated one-man bands – we want to remind owners how easily their beloved pets could be put at risk.
“We’d advise fellow dog owners looking for doggy daycare to really research beforehand, ask for plenty of recommendations and try to see the facility in action yourself.
“Above all, make sure you know the company will put your dog’s welfare above all else, even their reputation.”
Last night, K9 said it had carried out a review into its practices since the incident.
A spokesman said: “It was a very regrettable situation and all steps have been taken to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.
“However, once the dog had slipped the leash the natural thing for everyone at the service was to go and try and find it as soon as possible.”