The Scottish SPCA is urging dog walkers to be extra vigilant - after the suspected poisonings of several dogs in popular dog-walking areas in Fife.
The charity was informed that a golden retriever named Ollie died on October 31 after ingesting white cubes of a meat-like substance at Kilrenny Common, in the East Neuk.
This was the first in a series of incidents involving dogs suffering from gastroenteritis symptoms after eating similar substances in the Kilrenny Common, Dreelside Crawhill Farm and Cellardyke monument areas.
An undercover Scottish SPCA special investigations officer, who cannot be named, said: "We are saddened to hear of the passing of Ollie, and the suffering of other affected dogs who have thankfully recovered.
"We are urging pet owners walking their dogs in these areas to be extra vigilant.
"While poisoning has not been confirmed, we would urge anyone with information to contact our helpline.
"Attempting to deliberately harm an animal is a criminal offence.
"We would always discourage members of the public from leaving food for animals in public areas as, although they may mean well, it can cause harm.
"We would encourage any owners whose dogs display similar symptoms to contact their veterinarian. It may be that further tests could be carried out to determine what the substance is."
Daryl Wilson, from Anstruther Community Council, said: "Since December 11 I have received reports on a weekly basis of dogs suffering from gastrointestinal problems after eating randomly discarded meat or fish at popular dog walking areas.
"Thankfully these dogs have made a full recovery, but this was not the case for poor Ollie who was just seven years old and in good health.
"I am asking dog walkers in the local community to be extra vigilant.
"It could be that someone is innocently leaving food for animals, not knowing the repercussions of this."
If anyone has any information about this case or that poisonous substances are being deliberately used against animals, they are urged to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.