Police have urged members of the public not to approach a "scared" and "skinny" loose dog around a south Essex town.

UPDATE 10/01: The dog has now been safely secured by Pippa's Army. Police updated their statement yesterday evening to advise residents the rescue was involved.

Residents have reported a loose dog running in and around Cruick Avenue, South Ockendon, which appears to be malnourished and scared, Essex Police say.

The large dog is described as being black in colour with a metal chain around its neck.

Animal rescue Pippa's Army has clarified it has put a plan in place to secure the dog and are also urging residents not to follow, chase, or try to engage with the dog.

In an appeal, an Essex Police Thurrock district spokesman said: "Have you seen a loose dog in or around Cruick Avenue, South Ockendon?

"The dog has been described as being black in colour and has a metal chain around it's neck. The dog is large but looks skinny and malnourished and has been described to be acting scared or aggressive.

"If you have seen this dog, please do not approach it! If you see the dog loose, please report this here.

"If you see the dog and it seems to be out of control, let us know by calling 101."

Pippa's Army add that the dog is not believed to be dangerous, just scared and "in survival mode".