Pet’s death raises safety fears

Tuesday May 30, 2017 Written by Published in Local

The shooting of a beloved pet dog by someone in upper Ariki Rd, Atupa, has the neighbourhood worried about the safety of their children and pets.


Bruno, a rescued dog about 18 months old, went out for a short wander last Monday at about 4pm. During his walk he was shot – believed to be by a .22 calibre weapon, and went home in agony.

His distressed owner, who wished not to be identified, said at about 4.30pm she heard a loud cry of pain from a dog. Other neighbours also heard the same sound and one witness heard a loud bang before the dog’s cry.

“I was concerned and looked out from my deck to the location I heard the cry come from but did not see anything.”

When Bruno had not returned at 5.30pm she went out to search for him.

“I went looking for him and when I couldn’t find him I returned home about 6.30pm.

“I kept calling his name and he finally returned about 6.45pm.”

She said Bruno wasn’t himself on Monday evening and she and her partner thought he might have been poisoned.

“We have had a dog poisoned before, but then we saw blood on his back - we thought it could be a dog bite.

“We monitored him overnight, but he wasn’t looking good. He was vomiting and so we took him to Esther Honey at 8am.

“They looked at him, gave him medication and then, just to be certain, asked if we would like an x-ray.

“I said ‘yes’ to that and that’s when the result came back that he’d been shot.”

There was too much internal damage to save Bruno and he was put down at 2.30pm on Tuesday.

“I’ve pretty much cried all week.”

She said Bruno never went far on his walks. His roams were usually between 30 minutes and an hour.

“Bruno was an indoor dog and he was inside when we were home or out.

“Our neighbours are quite worried. One neighbour said she was very concerned for her two young children.

“Everyone has been very supportive in our community. Where I assume the shooting took place correlates with what two witnesses have shared with me.”

She said she can’t understand why someone would shoot Bruno, described as a “shy, gentle-natured and non-threatening dog’’.

“There is no livestock in the location where he was shot. It is a residential area.

“It’s just sad all round. Bruno came from such a terrible background and he had little to no trust in human beings.

“He had a fresh start with us and was building confidence with humans. I put lots of time and effort into him and … it is heart-breaking.

“We’ve lost two dogs, but this pain … I haven’t felt this kind of heartache. He had a beautiful nature.”

She added: “We are surrounded by beautiful land and I would love the dogs to be able to enjoy that.

“The person who shot our dog is so cruel and heartless.

“When I think about the death of Bruno I go from anger to hopelessness, to a deep sorrow I can’t shake. 

“Animal welfare and gun laws need to be revised.”

Wiping away tears she said: “I would love to see a prosecution. I would love to see some justice.”    

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