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Shocking CCTV footage taken in Dunedin shows a man brutally smashing a stolen pet rabbit against a wall before tossing its lifeless body over a fence.
The footage shows the man running along Arthur St carrying the rabbit, which he had stolen from a nearby property just before 9.30pm on Monday.
He then stops and slams the rabbit three times into a concrete wall, before throwing it several metres into the air and into a neighbour's garden.
That footage has appalled Isaiah Chong, who along with his four student flatmates, bought Dorian, a Jersey wooly rabbit, three months ago.
''We ran out and everything in the front yard was trashed, I am guessing [the offender] did that so Dorian didn't have anywhere to hide.''
The flatmates searched with torches, and were later contacted by a resident saying a man dressed in black, wearing a beanie, gloves and a backpack with a reflective strip, had been spotted acting suspiciously.
Supplied footage showed the man earlier walking past the homes and staring at the property, before returning trying to catch Dorian.
Initially unsuccessful, he later returned and jumped the fence where he grabbed Dorian and then sprinted away, Mr Chong said.
It was only when the flatmates watched the supplied footage the following day they discovered what happened to their pet.
''It was really vicious,'' he said.
The flatmates found Dorian at a neighbouring property.
''He didn't deserve that. He was a nice rabbit, friendly and playful.''
Senior Sergeant Tania Baron said the incident was ''cruel and senseless'', and police were reviewing the supplied footage.
If anyone recognises the alleged offender, they are urged to contact Dunedin Police on 471-4800 or anonymously on the Crimestoppers line (0800-0555-111).