A family of a missing Siberian husky say they received an anonymous call and demands for a hefty reward before they were reunited with their beloved pup.
A few hours after the Syed family contacted the Herald in desperation and voicing fears that Milo had been stolen from their Mangere home, Abeer Ali Syed received a call from an unknown number.
The person on the other end said he was sure he knew where his dog was and Syed was to meet him on his own at the bottom of Peninsula Park in Mangere with $1000 cash as a reward.
Syed he told the man he could only arrange $500 at such late notice.
When he arrived at the park on Sunday evening a man was standing there with Milo and grabbed his money before returning the dog.
"He was extremely aggressive until we gave him the reward money. He then returned the dog and left," Syed said.
However, despite having their dog being held at ransom - the Syed family were just pleased to have Milo home safe and sound.
Syed's younger sister Anaum was also relieved, as the 16-year-old had not been able to sleep or eat since her dog which she got for her 14th birthday went missing last Wednesday.
The family had originally thought Milo had dug his way out under their gate, but then a neighbour alerted them to suspicious behaviour outside their house an hour after he went missing.
"The little escape artist is home and safe now with no injuries. My sister is very grateful," Syed said.