A woman on TikTok has shared the moment she stood up to a man taking a photo of her dog, claiming her quick-thinking "probably saved her life".
Shey Greyson, a London-based US actress, recalled the incident from two years ago and said at first she didn't see a problem when a stranger asked to take a photo of her dog while she was at a park.
However, she quickly realised that he was focusing in on her dog's ID tag, which listed her personal address.
"I said yes, because why not? It’s a picture of a dog. So he started taking a picture of my dog and then I realised that he was like holding up her collar and then it hit me," Ms Greyson said in the video that has been viewed over three million times.
"My address is on that collar. He’s not taking a picture of my dog. He’s taking a picture of my address.”
Ms Greyson said she immediately confronted the man and asked him to delete the photo he had just taken.
"I told him that I actually didn’t feel comfortable with him having a picture of my dog, and I asked him to delete it,” she explained.
“So he deletes it and then starts walking away really fast.”
The TikTok user said she then remembered some phones can contain a deleted photos folder, so she asked the man to delete the photo from that folder as well.
“I said ‘could you please delete the picture?’ And he was like, ‘sorry, I don’t have a deleted album’ and keeps walking away,” Ms Greyson said.
By this point, Ms Greyson said other people in the park were starting to stare, but she knew something wasn’t right and kept chasing after him, insisting he show her the deleted album folder.
“So now I’m still chasing after him. And I’m telling him, ‘Sir, I know you have the album… I’ll show you where the album is. Can you please go into your phone so that we can delete the picture’.”
In part two of the video, Ms Greyson said the man “did something” on his phone and insisted he had deleted the photo completely, however the concerned dog owner stood her ground.
“I was like, could I just see the deleted album just to make sure it’s gone? And he goes, ‘No, you can’t look at my phone’. And I was like ‘I don’t want to look at your phone. I just want to see the album just to make sure the picture is gone that’s it’,” she explained.
Eventually, Ms Greyson said she made a big enough scene that the man gave in and held up his phone showing not only that he did have a deleted folder but the photo of her address on her dog’s collar was still visible.
“The picture was still there so I made him delete it in front of my eyes,” she said.
What to list on your pet's ID tag
Ms Greyson said she shared the story to caution others about listing personal details on their pet's collar, and to encourage them to also stand up for themselves if they feel something isn’t right.
“What if I hadn’t noticed that he took a picture of my address?" she asked.
“And what if I went home then that day, and you know, that night I took my dog out to pee and he was outside waiting for me".
In most Aussie states, dogs and outdoor cats are required to wear an ID tag, but there are often other options if you don’t feel safe listing your address and phone number on them.
Online pet store Petzoo recommends engraving a tag with your regular vet’s phone number (with their permission) or your pet’s microchip number incase it can’t be scanned for some reason.
The RSPCA told Yahoo News Australia there are six microchip registers in Australia, so pet owners should make sure the one you and your pet are recorded on is recognised nationally and not just in your state.
There are some councils that also offer anonymity with registration tags that list an ID number and council contact information to their pet database.
Some pet experts also advise leaving your pet's name off an ID tag as although it might look cute, some people may use it to entice your pet away.
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