An Australian dog owner is shocked and terrified by brutal threats to kill her beloved missing dog.
Three-year-old staffy cross Baxter was last seen on New Year's Eve with a canine friend before he disappeared.
"We came home and the whole screen door was pushed off," the dog's owner told 7 News.
"They dug a hole under the fence, managed to squeeze out."
At first his owners thought he'd been spooked by fireworks and offered a $500 reward for his return.
However they then received a threatening phone call from an anonymous number.
"Started off super-friendly but the phone call changed," Baxter's owner said.
"They said 'we think $1500 is fair for you to get your dog back otherwise you'll end up with half a dog'."
Worse, the caller demanded the money be handed over late at night at a cemetery.
The desperate family believe it's a disgusting prank, and have reported the caller to the police. They're still hoping for Baxter's safe return by a Good Samaritan.
The RSPCA says it's a "pretty low" act - and a warning to other owners.
"Pretty low to be honest, but I guess it does serve as a reminder to people to ensure their animals are secure," RSPCA chief inspector Daniel Young says.