A dog walker is urging lockdown litter louts to clean up their act after a pup cut its paw on broken glass.
Leona Massie was exercising Belgian Shepherd Toyo at Fraserburgh beach on Thursday when the incident happened.
The 18-month-old dog stood on a piece of glass pointing upwards through the sand and was raced to the vet.
Miss Massie, who runs Bailey’s Buddies Pet Services, said both she and Toyo’s owners are furious with the litter louts responsible.
“We were out our usual walk when Toyo went up a hill off the path and stood on broken glass point upright through the sand on its end,” the 28-year-old said. “The blood that came from it was horrendous, it was pouring out.
“The vet said the glass had stabbed her in the stomp pad of her foot so the cut is incredibly deep but not very long. There was a lot of sand came out of it, which is incredibly dirty, so Toyo will need her bandages changed every two days and is on antibiotics.
“Toyo got such a horrible injury and it could just have easily happened to a child.”
Miss Massie treated Toyo herself before taking her to nearby Buchan Vet, where a £100 bill is expected to grow over the coming weeks.
“She was under my care so I am offering to pay the bills and depending on the costs will have to claim on my insurance,” she added. “The owners are just angry that it happened to begin with due to littering, but they understand.”
The dog walker believes littering has worsened during lockdown.
“There’s been more groups on the beach with people being at home in lockdown. It’s just escalated the problem. I have noticed a big difference the last few months, there’s heaps of big shards sticking up where people have had barbecues.
“People are bad for going to Tesco across the road to buy drink, then just leaving empties on the beach behind them too. People have been calling for more bins but there’s about a dozen along the beach front that people walk right past to get to and leave the dunes.”
Miss Massie returned to the beach on Thursday night and filled half a bucket with broken glass, but said she feared “that didn’t even touch the surface”.
Last year East Grampian Coastal Partnership (EGCP) organised 53 beach cleans during which 2,000 volunteers collected 22 tonnes of litter between Fraserburgh and Arbroath. Covid-19 lockdown measures, however, have put paid to organised events.
Crawford Paris, from EGCP, said: “We are encouraging people to do self-led litter picks and we’ll be issuing more guidance on how people should do these safely, in accordance with the government’s route map, in the coming days.
“It’s obviously something that is quite an issue and it’s caused by a minority. The majority appreciate their local beaches so the problem is getting the minority to listen.”