The owner of a dog found alive with three bullets in its head may have attempted a "cheap method of disposal", the SPCA says.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is calling for the owner to come forward, saying the person responsible for the injuries probably thought they had killed the adult bull-terrier cross.
SPCA Canterbury manager Geoff Sutton said the dog was found on Intake Rd near the Waimakariri River on Saturday morning by a passer-by.
The dog, which was conscious, was taken to the SPCA, Sutton said
Staff took the dog to a vet, who said the bull-terrier had been shot three times with .22 calibre ammunition. The dog was euthanased because of the extent of its injuries. It also had injuries to its mouth, with loose teeth.
"The person who did this probably thought they had killed it, but the dog was found awake, sitting up, and likely in terrible pain," Sutton told The Press yesterday.
The SPCA wanted to speak to the owner to hear their side of the story, he said. "It's not an offence to kill an animal, but it's got to be killed humanely and not left in pain and suffering."
It appeared the owner had attempted a "cheap method of disposal", Sutton said.
"We have some parts of the puzzle, but not all."
The dog was lucky to have been found, he said.
"If it had not been found, it could have suffered with its severe injuries for days."
Sutton said it was not clear how long the dog had been in the area. It was tied to a fence with a long rope.
Sutton also appealed to the public to report whether they had seen anyone in the area last week.
An autopsy would be done to establish if the dog had other injuries, he said.
The vet's bill was being met by the SPCA and would likely be in the hundreds of dollars, he said.
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