Family dog found tied up in rubbish bin

SHOCKED: : Mikayla Pearsey, 13, of Bluff, with her dog Jess, who was found in a rubbish bin with a plastic bag tied around her neck.
SHOCKED: : Mikayla Pearsey, 13, of Bluff, with her dog Jess, who was found in a rubbish bin with a plastic bag tied around her neck.

Thirteen-year-old Mikayla Pearsey is horrified after her tiny dog was found inside a plastic bag in a rubbish bin.

Mikayla and her family believe someone stole Jess on Sunday, put her in the bag and tied it around her head.

She was found a day later in a bin next to the Bluff marae.

"It's disgusting . . . I cried most of the night on Sunday and didn't go to school, I couldn't get out of bed," Mikayla said.

She was "really happy" when Jess, who has been with the family since Mikayla was one, was found about 11am and without any injuries, but she and her family were shocked about Jess' ordeal.

Mum Vic said she had been fearing the worst, after there being "a few dog happenings in Bluff" in recent months, she said.

A pair of shih tzu dogs which disappeared from a Bluff house in November were never found, while she had heard a dog had been found "beaten up like it had been in a dog fight" in the Bluff reserve about six weeks ago, she said.

The family scoured the streets on Sunday night, calling for Jess until 11pm, but with no success.

"She never goes further than the length of the block, is always in view, and she would only be gone 20 minutes at the most," Vic said.

Vic went to the marae, about 100 metres from her home, on Monday morning and started calling for Jess.

"Two women started walking towards me with Jess, and asked if it was my dog.

"They had heard rustling in a bin outside and pulled her out. They told me the handles were tied around her neck when they found her.

"I want to believe she has jumped in the bin . . .

"I'm finding it hard someone could be so cruel."

A maltese bichon fox terrier cross, Jess measures 28cm from her foot to the top of her back.

There was a 22cm gap between the bin and a bench above it.

"She would have had to be superwoman to jump in there," Vic said

Husband Shane said Jess struggled to jump onto the couch.

Vic said the bin was almost empty, containing only what looked like a few paper scraps.

"If she tried to climb into it, she would have tipped it over," she said.

She felt it unlikely her dog had tried to climb into it as she had never had any previous interest in digging in to bins or going hunting for food, she said.

"She's not a scavenger, she's well fed."

The family have reported the incident to police.

Shane said police promised to keep an eye out and asked if anyone had grudges against the family, but no one came to mind.

"If they do, they should take it up with us, not our kids' pets . . . to have that idea in their heads is sick and twisted . . . they need help," he said.

Vic said the circumstances in which Jess was found were almost worse than losing her.

"I was absolutely mortified, yesterday I was a wreck.

"I just don't want to believe someone would do this," she said.

In the meantime, Jess was under "house arrest," Shane said.

"She won't be going out any time soon, at least until we get the gate fixed," Vic said.

The Southland Times