Three young people could be heard urging a terrified man to come outside and talk to them before they smashed their way into his home and killed a 12-week-old puppy.
The attack, on Torrington Cres in the Auckland suburb of Glen Innes, occurred during what police have called a "half-hour crime spree" by a group of teenagers on Monday night.
Vaikalafi Tufi, 26, heard a noise outside about 9.30pm and thought it was someone on his property. He looked outside and saw three young men climbing over the fence into the neighbour's yard. At the same time his brother-in-law Falakiko Sanalio heard noises coming from next door.
"We had no idea what was going on, but it sounded like they were trying to get in ... They said 'can you come outside and talk'," Mr Sanalio said. Soon after he heard what sounded like "punching the wall" from inside the house.
A father of three children, aged 9, 8 and 4, locked himself and his family in a room after the intruders forced their way in by smashing a glass door.
When the family emerged they found their purebred brown labrador, Milo, had been killed.
Two attackers got away but the third was caught by Mr Tufi who, with Mr Sanalio's help, held him until police arrived.
"He was saying, 'Can you let me go, I didn't do anything, it has nothing to do with me'."
Mr Sanalio's wife, Salote, saw the shocked couple come outside. The woman was crying. "I felt so sorry for them, I can't imagine it ... It was a beautiful little puppy - and they killed it."
A 16-year-old youth will appear in the Auckland Youth Court tomorrow charged with two counts of unlawfully being on a property.