Reward boosted for information on puppy killing

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Sandy Point, near Otatara.

ANONYMOUS Southlanders have donated $3000 towards reward money to push forward the investigation into the slaying of eight puppies near Invercargill.

Outrage was expressed on social media after animal advocacy group Paw Justice revealed the litter was found with their throats cut in an Otatara park about two weeks ago.

The group announced a $2000 reward on social media for information leading to the successful prosecution of those involved, which had since risen to $5000 thanks to the generosity of community members.

A few days after the discovery of the deaths, local resident Kim Durry told the Southland Express she and her husband, Errol, were walking their dogs near Sandy Point, near Otatara, about 4pm on Friday, September 11, when they spotted what they thought were dead rats.

Once she got closer, she realised there were eight puppies with their throats cut.

“My husband works at the meat works, he’s used to blood and guts but even he couldn’t stomach it,” she said at the time.

Furever Homes volunteer Rachel Hucklebridge took photos of the puppies in case of future prosecution, before giving them a proper burial.

Paw Justice co-founder Craig Dunn said while the organisation had received no leads yet, they were not giving up hope, and neither was the public.

“We had a lot of locals concerned who rang up to see how they could help.

“We expect the reward to go up with the increase in concern from the public.”

Despite having no solid information yet, prosecuting cases such as the “Cat Killer”, where a 22-year-old Greymouth man was sentenced to two years and five months’ jail for setting a cat on fire and beating another to death before cutting off its paws in 2014, took time.

“It took two weeks for anyone to come forward with information on that case.

“Our goal is to get a successful prosecution and get [offenders] off the street.”

Mr Dunn said the seriousness of the case was “quite distressing” and feared it could lead to a more serious crime.

Research showed acts of animal cruelty were often linked to serial killers and violent offenders, he said.

“Someone will know something and we encourage people to come forward and check their moral compass.”

Those with information would be allowed to come forward anonymously.

A police spokeswoman confirmed a report had been filed, however, there was no investigation.

“Unfortunately there are no current lines of inquiry in this matter, however if we receive new information we will assess it,” she said.

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