Police hunting whoever mutilated and killed a family pet say they have a suspect almost three months after the fox terrier's body was dumped on its owner's lawn.
Portia, a fox terrier, disappeared in late July. Days later her body was dumped on the lawn of owner Kelly Newby, of Karaka, south of Auckland.
The dog had been skinned, a paw and both ears were missing, and her shoulder was broken.
Detective Joe Hunter, of the Papakura CIB, said police were "following lines of inquiry" in relation to Portia's death. They were seeking to interview associates of a suspect, "who may have knowledge of this incident".
Shortly after Portia was killed, a group of animal-loving Auckland lawyers set up a website to raise a reward and collect tips that might help police.
The website swiftly raised more than $20,000: half of that will go to the SPCA, the other half is on offer as a cash reward for any information leading to a conviction.
The group's spokeswoman, Carole Curtis, said "we are excited that the police have a suspect in their sights", and urged anyone with further information to come forward as soon as possible, as the reward will be on offer for only another fortnight. After that the entire $20,000 will go to the SPCA.
Anyone with knowledge of the incident is encouraged to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or send a message to an address provided on the reward website, www.deaddogrewardfund.co.nz
- © Fairfax NZ News