No leads in dumped dog investigation

New dog owners Peita Ferens-Green (left) and Natasha Harvey hold dumped Labrador-cross pups Luna...
New dog owners Peita Ferens-Green (left) and Natasha Harvey hold dumped Labrador-cross pups Luna and Chance, respectively, at the SPCA Animal Centre in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Puppies left for dead in Dunedin have found new homes but the investigation to find those responsible for dumping the dogs has closed due to a lack of positive leads.

SPCA Otago appealed last month for information to help identify who dumped two female Labrador-cross puppies in the Kuri Bush area, south of Brighton.

SPCA Otago inspector Sophia Tinirau said the case was closed, as the charity had not received any positive leads to progress the case.

However, if anyone knew something about the dogs being abandoned, the case could be reopened.

Deserting an animal was a serious offence and a conviction under the Animal Welfare Act could result in a $50,000 fine and a year in prison.

Anyone giving information would remain anonymous during the investigation, she said.

"If someone knows who abandoned young, defenceless puppies like this, surely it must be weighing on their conscience and perhaps it would be a relief to share the information they have."

The puppies, Chance and Luna, were "happy and healthy" and had been adopted by loving families in Dunedin, she said.

Natasha Harvey (40), of Mosgiel, said she adopted Chance a fortnight ago and the "playful and mischievous" puppy had settled in well in her new home.

Mrs Harvey said she was working on fixing the pup’s fear of strangers.

"She’s very frightened at times, but apart from that she’s very, very loving."

Peita Ferens-Green (22), of Northeast Valley, said her new puppy Luna  had been "doing well" since being adopted.

"She started off being really timid but now she is quite happy to run around and get free cuddles from everyone off the street."

SPCA Otago business development manager Kirsty Thomson said SPCA’s annual fundraiser, Cupcake Day, is on Monday.

"We are encouraging the public to get on board ... by baking cupcakes, sell them to their friends and make money, pass it back to us and it will help us to help animals like Chance and Luna."

SPCA Cupcake stalls would be on George St, outside Jay Jays, tomorrow and at SPCA Animal Centre in Opoho on Monday.

Last year, more than 1600 people baked across New Zealand for the fundraiser and raised nearly $400,000.

The Help Rescue SPCA Otago campaign is seeking $1.5million to replace three buildings at the Opoho centre.

So far, $716,000 has been raised.

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