A shark snatched a dog while its owners were taking it for a walk along a Sydney beach on 26 February. The American Staffordshire Terrier, named Molly, was playing fetch by the shore at Bonna Point Reserve in Kurnell when the 3.5m bull shark grabbed it and took it under the water never to be seen again.

The dog's owner, who only gave the name Nigel, said he and his wife were left traumatised by the incident. They have been walking for about half an hour and were just about to leave when the shark appeared.

"We were just throwing the stick in the water. The tide was really far out and there was a bit of a drop off. It was very quick. It just took her under the water," he told Fairfax Media.

"The shark was around 3.5-metres long, which is easily big enough to take a human," he said.

There have been a number of shark sightings in the area recently, including an incident earlier in February when a kiteboarder was filmed riding towards a great white in Botany Bay.

Signs have been put up in the area to warn swimmers. A spokeswoman from the local Sutherland Shire Council said lifeguards had warned swimmers and owners of pet to steer clear of the water, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

In a statement, the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries said people should not swim or surf when it is dark, or at twilight.

Bull shark
A dog was snatched by a bull shark by Botany Bay in Sydney, Australia Getty Images