A dog was brutally stabbed to death in Chippenham.
The dog – a three-year-old Doberman – was found dead near Avenue la Fleche on September 22.
Police say it had been killed with a sharp object and want witnesses to come forward.
The dog was found by a couple who contacted police and subsequently took it to the vets believing it had been knocked down by a car.
But following examination by the vet, it is now believed the dog had been deliberately killed.
The owners of the dog, who had been out looking for her after she had run off while on a walk earlier that evening, have been informed.
PC Darren Willis said: “This was understandably a very distressing incident for the owners of the dog.
“While initially it was thought the dog may have been knocked down after being found near to a busy road, we now believe this was not the case and that this was a deliberate act.
“We are keen to hear from anyone who may have information in relation to this incident.
“It is likely that the incident did not occur in the area that the dog was found.
“If you have information which could lead to the identity of those involved, I’d urge you to get in touch immediately.”
The case has sent shockwaves through the dog-owning community. On the Gazette & Herald’s website, dozens of readers told of their horror.
Caron Anne Robinson wrote: “This is awful. How can any one do this to a animal.
“I hope karma gets them back soon. I feel for the dog’s family. How devastating for them.
“The person or persons who have done this awful thing need to be put away and never own a animal. Pure evil.”
Denise Barrett wrote: “So heartbreaking. How could anyone do this? I hope the person is found. Thoughts are with the owners.”
Cherrieann Bodman Barnes said: “I hope whoever did this wicked act, killing a defenceless animal, is found quickly and the courts give this person the highest appropriate custodial sentence. It could be a child next time. Evil sick person.”
Debbie Richards wrote: “I would like to get hold of the person and do the same to them. Makes me so mad.”
Supporters of the website Fabulous Finn, set up in the name of a police dog that survived horrific stab wounds, demanded tougher penalties for those found guilty of such a crime.
Finn’s attacker walked away from trial without punishment for what he did to Finn. Finn’s Law, as it become known, went through Parliament last year making it an offence to attack a service dog. Now the group is pushing for more protection for domestic dogs, currently classed as ‘property’.
If you can help with the Chippenham case, call 101 quoting reference number 54200095737.