Pet stolen, set on fire and dumped

Larry the lamb. Photo supplied.
Larry the lamb. Photo supplied.
A beloved pet lamb was stolen and later dumped with a smashed head and set on fire outside its Dunedin home early yesterday, police say.

The burning lamb was spotted dumped on the front door step of a Corstorphine home by neighbours, and police were called to the Clermiston Ave property at 1.30am.

Andrew Naziris (28) said he had no idea about the incident until police knocked at his door, He found the gruesome charred carcass of Larry the lamb, who normally lived tethered at the rear of his property.

The lamb's head had been crushed and it had substantial burns to its body, Constable Brent Mitchell said.

''Whether it was alive or dead when it was burnt, either way it has met a fairly cruel and unnecessary way to die.''

The lamb was the family pet of Matt Johnston (28), and his young daughter ''absolutely loved him, loved him to bits''.

''It is absolutely horrible.''

Larry, who spent is first few weeks living inside and was regularly bottle fed by his daughter, was to turn one in September.

He was yet to tell his 2-year-old daughter about the incident, as ''they were best friends''.

''Larry is a member of our family, and I think it is absolutely horrific what they have done. We are after justice.''

Police had evidence indicating the lamb ''may have been taken to a nearby address where there was a group of people who may have been drinking''.

That evidence indicated the sheep may have been taken to the party, before being returned to its home, he said.

''We have spoken to some people at the party and they claim to have no knowledge of the incident,'' Const Mitchell said.

There was no known ''bad blood'' between individuals, he saidPolice took cruelty to animals seriously and anyone with information was urged to contact their nearest police station.

Normal people do this ....

It's only recently that most 'normal' people would find this disgusting. And that is only in some cultures. Look up cat burning in the Middle ages .. or bull baiting in Spain , the Zulu 'manhood' ritual involving more bulls , the recent witch burnings in PNG. Even here , most people are content to buy eggs laid by battery hens.  Most people find it easy to class other humans  - let alone different species – as other , outsiders , non-group.  Its an unfortunate part of our evolution to be so easily able to ignore another's pain and suffering if they are 'different.'  But doesn't make it right. Relying on karma for justice seldom works. I hope the police do find those responsible.


Even under the influence normal people will not do that .....ever.

alcohol involved?

The police have clearly indicated they suspect people attending a local party who obviously would have been drunk. All the comments are horrified and wonder how anyone could ever commit such a violent and perverse act... under the influence of alcohol, that's how!

Violence against animals on increase?

I feel sorry for this family that has lost their pet, especially their little girl who lovingly tended her lamb. Is it my imagination or is violence against animals on the increase in Dunedin? I recall the cats who were being killed and suspended in a South Dunedin playground in May. There are some sick individuals around whose only sense of power seems to be derived from preying on the innocent, helpless or weak. Truly cowardly behavior. I agree with others that crimes against animals usually signal an escalation toward violence against people, perhaps children, the elderly or those with special needs, in other words, the vulnerable. I hope the authorities treat this incident seriously and apprehend the perpetrators soon.


Just to say I agree with everything said by previous contributors, and please, please, please remember how vulnerable any tethered animal is, be vigilant with regard to their safety.  Damn straight whoever did this is dangerous .  Any one with any information and an ounce of decency, please speak to the police.  This was horrific enough, what could be next? My sympathies to Larry's owners .

Welfare, violence and abuse

A few days ago I read New Zealand doesn't rate at all well in international statistics for deliberate cruelty and neglect to animals. Pondering this, two quotations:

C.S. Lewis "If we cut up beasts simply because they cannot prevent us and because we are backing our own side in the struggle for existence, it is only logical to cut up imbeciles, criminals, enemies, or capitalists for the same reasons."

Mahatma Gandhi "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

Given what appears in the 'homeland' news, we're a detestable bunch of losers whether animals or humans are our victims.

Sad and Sickened

Another sad case of animal cruelty, I am both saddened and sickened by this report and my heart goes out to the owners of Larry. I hope that someone  gets a case of conscience and comes forward with some info so justice is served. How can anyone feel safe knowing there are people like that wandering around in their neighbourhood, letting themselves into other's backyards, helping themselves to who knows what -  let alone doing such a violent inhumane thing. 

I hope you get justice

I hope you get justice.  This is disgusting and the people who did it are messed up and I hope they are deeply ashamed and know how it feels one day.  I have animals and I feel sorry for this family.  Contact Paw Justice and hopefully the offer of a reward will flush out these creeps.  Shame on the rednecks who did this.  Dunedin just keeps dropping in my opinion.  Come on people, we are meant to be a step above chimps......

Pet stolen, set on fire and dumped

Whoever did this is at very high risk of escalating onto violence against people at some later time. Finding what is a potential psychopath should be a very high priority because waiting for something inevitably much worse should not be an option. Normally adjusted human beings do not do this stuff and the type of people who do, are a danger to anyone they come into contact with. You can't lock someone up because of what they might to but you can sure as hell keep a very close eye on them.


Whoever knows  who did this, need to tell police as this is psychopathic behaviour.

Karma will do its work

Some people should not be part of this world.

The Karma will do its work and will end up doing something equivalent to whoever did this, no
doubt. I feel so sorry for the owners and their daughter, cheer up!

Mental health

The person/persons who did this must have something wrong with them, no normal person would do something like this....ever. Someone knows who did this and must get them to get help before they do it to a child...only a matter of time.

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