Intruder Strangles Boy’s Pet Dog In Front Of Him

Poor thirteen year old Tyler Corbett-Gaber held his boxer dog Troy as it died in his arms.

The dog, who had been trying to defend they boy,  had been strangled by an intruder that broke into their family home in Christchurch on Friday and wrecked the property, leaving it looking like a “war zone”.

Our thoughts go out to the boy and his family for the loss of their family pet and the damage done to their home.

Sadly, home invasions are shockingly common in New Zealand and they make a large part of the country’s very high crime statistics. South Christchurch alone averages 150 burglaries a month. Some of them happen whilst the occupants are present and the invaders are not always apprehended, even when the victim provides the police with solid evidence  (see

Earlier today we added a page to our “What Kiwis Say About NZ”  page in which New Zealanders talked about the experiences of home invasions, some of which are even more violent than this one and involved threats to young children. Read “Ever had an intruder in your house when you were there?

Here’s a report about the invasion of the Corbett-Gaber family home, by Giles Brown in The Press:

Christchurch teenager saw an intruder choke the life from the family’s pet dog.

Fern Gaber said four-year-old boxer Troy was a “loyal friend” to the family and playmate for her son, Tyler Corbett-Gaber, 13.

Troy died in Tyler’s arms on Friday after an intruder entered the Spreydon house and strangled the dog to death with its own lead as it defended the property.

Gaber, 35, said Tyler was home ill and asleep in his room when a man entered the Milton St home through a window. The burglar reckoned without Troy, and Gaber said the ensuing struggle left the house like a “war zone”. “There were broken doors, and the shower curtain was ripped down,” Gaber said. “It was horrific.

In the chaos, Troy’s lead fell from a cupboard on to the floor, and the intruder wrapped it around the dog’s neck.

Tyler went into the bathroom to see Troy being strangled. “Tyler was shouting at him to `leave the dog alone, leave the dog alone’, but he had to witness it. That’s pretty scary for him to come out of bed and that’s happening in his house,” Gaber said.

The dog “collapsed” and the intruder fled out of the bathroom window. “Tyler just went and hugged Troy and said, `Hold on buddy, hold on buddy’, and Troy just looked at him and stopped breathing.”

The family was struggling to come to terms with Troy’s death, especially Tyler, whom she said was extremely shaken. “He was really good with kids and he loved rugby and going to watch rugby games. He was just a good, loyal family pet and friends with the kids and a brilliant guard dog,” she said.

“[The intruder] was obviously trying to protect himself from the dog and decided it’s him or me, and sadly it was Troy.”

Acting Sergeant Andrew Savage of the Christchurch South police said police want to hear from anyone who saw the intruder fleeing the scene. He was of medium build and height, dressed in black and wore a balaclava and gloves.

Gaber said she wanted to see whoever killed Troy caught. “I don’t feel [Troy] should have died in vain. He was just doing his job.”

If you’re moving to New Zealand soon please remember that New Zealand has a serious problem with crime, lock up your home well and stay safe.

Also in the news today:
Neighbours in Nawton, Hamilton suspect that the death of a man in his house yesterday (see our violent deaths page) may have been linked to a gang of thugs kicking letterboxes in the road earlier in the day. A  neighbour bravely confronted the group, who then turned on him and one hit him in the face with a fence picket, leaving him with swelling and a blackened eye. source


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