A Christchurch family are grieving after their beloved cocker spaniel was shot dead on their suburban street.
Alan and Maria Carbon's dog, Pogi, staggered into their Bryndwr driveway with blood flowing from his mouth, collapsed, and died from a gunshot wound to the stomach in January.
A neighbour of the family, Henrietta Tania Campbell, 46, appeared in the Christchurch District Court yesterday.
She has denied charges of discharging a firearm near a dwelling and cruelly ill-treating the dog and will have a hearing before a judge in June.
Pogi died about noon on January 11 after playing with the family in the backyard. He got out "for a matter of minutes" and as the family were looking for him they heard a gunshot.
"We heard him whimpering," said daughter Althea Carbon.
"He took a few steps into our driveway then he collapsed. He had blood in his mouth and a hole in his stomach."
A vet told them a bullet had pierced a major organ and Pogi was unable to be saved.
The Carbon family, originally from the Philippines, said the death of seven-year-old Pogi was like losing a child.
"They've killed a precious member of our family," said mother Maria Carbon. "Killing a dog is like killing a helpless child. People think he's just an animal but he's more than that. He's my son, he's the youngest member of the family. He was so gentle. He was scared of cats, he was scared of other dogs."
The only painting in the Carbon family living room was of Pogi, and Maria Carbon wept while talking of the dog.
The family said they used to put Pogi in a dog hotel with a heated floor and a television when they went on holiday.
They were at a loss to explain why he was shot.
"When I heard the sound I didn't even register what it was. It was so inconceivable," Maria Carbon said.
They have a new cocker spaniel, Bello, but the new dog was no replacement, she said.
The Carbon family were in court for Campbell's appearance yesterday wearing Paw Justice T-shirts – an organisation that "seeks justice against those who hurt our animals".
- The Press