A YOUNG dog has died after it was struck by a vehicle on the A77 near Ayr.

Bella, a two-year-old Staffie and a much-loved family pet, who had been reported missing earlier in the day, was hit on the motorway in the early hours of Sunday, May 14. The animal was initially left at the scene after the incident.

The dog was then noticed by other passing motorists, who wrapped Bella in a blanket and moved her to the side of the road before contacting police.

In the afternoon, Bella's owners contacted local pet rescue group Ayrshire Drone Dog Rescue to see if they could help find the dog.

Sadly Bella's owners did not know at the time that she had passed away.

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After 4pm, police contacted her owners to say that Bella had been hit by a car and had died.

Bella's owners headed to the police station to recover her body only to find out that the dog was not there, and only after a search by a Ayrshire Drone Dog Rescue volunteer was Bella's body found still lying at the side of the road on the A77.

And now Ayrshire Drone Dog Rescue are appealing for anyone who might have been travelling on the A77 heading north between Queen Margaret roundabout and Minishant in the early hours of the morning of Sunday, May 14 between 2.30-4am, and has dashcam footage that they could bring forward.

The rescue group is also urging people to be aware of the sad situation and the impact it has on family members, so that something like this never happens again.

A spokesperson said: "Bella was chased out of Craig Tara by well meaning security guards trying to 'catch her' after a maintenance man left the caravan door open.

"She ran past the Co-Op with well intended people stopping to try to catch her. She just kept running because all these 'predators' kept 'trying to catch her'.

"She’s obviously taken a rest somewhere for some time and set off again, but we have still seen posts where people were still trying to catch her.

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"We continually ask people never to try to catch a dog that won't willingly come to you.

"We shout from the rooftops that a dog will be driven to roads, railways and bodies of water.

"Usually we are able to intervene and get the dog to safety, but this time it was already too late for Bella.

"Please, stop trying to catch a missing dog.

"Go to our page or another local missing pets page and say you saw a dog.

"White torches, car headlights, people, mobile phone noises, are all terrifying to a dog in fight or flight mode."