A pet dog, initially thought to have been shot on Auckland's North Shore, may have died of natural causes, a vet has advised police.
Devastated owner Louise Lumsden believed 1-year-old Otto was shot at an Auckland park by a person who lay concealed in the bushes.
She posted a picture of Otto on a community Facebook page along with a plea for information about his death at a Torbay reserve yesterday evening.
She said Otto was shot behind the Deep Creek football field and died at the emergency vet clinic.
"Somebody with a BB gun or something similar shot him from the bushes while he was chasing a stick.
"We are gutted and I have two absolutely devastated kids."
However, a police spokeswoman told the Herald there were no witnesses at the time the dog collapsed, nor did anyone hear anything.
An x-ray of the dog, which was retrieving a stick at the time, also showed no signs of a projectile.
"Police have today spoken to the vet - the owner of the dog did not want a post-mortem examination to be carried out and the dog has since been farewelled," the police spokeswoman said.
"The vet has advised police that is quite possible the dog died of natural causes and any abrasion the dog had could be attributed to it injuring itself when it collapsed."
The shooting sparked police to search for a potential shooter, but no one was found.