AS so many of us are still attempting to keep ourselves and our families safe during the coronavirus pandemic, I am compelled to write to plea with dog owners to help us do just that.

Since lockdown began, a walk has been the only opportunity many of us have to get outside, to take in fresh air and enjoy some outside time.

But I’m afraid even this has become a scary thing to do - thanks to some irresponsible dog owners.

When your dog runs free and approaches people - including children - it can be frightening.

Imagine an animal - taller than you are - running at you, teeth showing and trying to get at you.

That is what a small child experiences when your free-roaming dog comes at them.

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They may not be intending to harm that child, but they don’t know that.

This is made worse by the fact it is happening more as our movements are limited, even in our local park where signs clearly state dogs are not to be allowed off leads.

Not only can it be frightening for others walkers - big and small - it often also ends in an owner approaching others to collect their pet - breaking social distancing and putting people at risk.

It’s difficult for all of us at this time, including dog walkers, but that is no excuse for simply disregarding the rules.

Please, just think of others when allowing your dogs to roam free.