TANK, the Bulldog that made headlines after going missing for a fortnight only to be found dead on the side of a Rutherford road, died of a bacterial infection.
Central Hunter police have repeated that investigations have found no evidence that any dogs were being stolen and used in organised fights, after comments on social media went into overdrive following the loss and then discovery of the dog last month.
Tank was reported as being stolen from the rear yard of their home on Regiment Road, Rutherford on June 8.
A reward was posted for his return before his loss was overridden by rumours of a spike in dog thefts and illegal dog-fighting rings.
But police yesterday said the preliminary results from an autopsy performed at the RSPCA animal hospital at Rutherford found the dog died of a bacterial infection.
Police said there were minor puncture wounds were located on Tank’s neck, but there were ‘‘no significant or traumatic injuries consistent with being involved in organised dog fighting activities’’.
‘‘At this stage, police investigations have found no evidence that dogs are being stolen and used in organised dog-fights,’’ a police statement said.