Rare-breed dog killing features on Crimewatch
A rare-breed dog that was strangled and dumped in a canal has become the first canine killing to be featured on BBC programme Crimewatch.
Two-year-old Troya, a Spanish presa canario, was stolen from her kennel on Christmas Eve and her body discovered more than three weeks later floating in a canal in Romiley, Stockport.
She had been hanged with a length of washing line and was found with a blue Aldi carrier bag over her head and secured around her neck with curtain wire.
Her death is being investigated by both Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and the RSPCA and more than £2,000 is been offered to help find her killer.
A social media campaign lobbying Crimewatch's spin-off show Crimewatch Roadshow led to the programme launching the appeal on Friday which included a reconstruction of the theft.
The canine's owner, Anthony Taylor, 34, described Troya as his "best friend".
He told Crimewatch: "Everybody loved Troya, everybody. She was part of the family."
GMP officer Joseph Torkington also appeared on the programme, and called the killing "horrific".
Troya was taken in the early hours of December 24 2015 from her kennel behind Mr Taylor's home in Stockport. She was found floating in the canal on January 18, prompting the set-up of a Facebook page dedicated to investigate the death which has garnered more than 13,000 supporters.
Well-wishers raised money for a private autopsy that revealed the dog had been hanged or strangled.
Animal campaigner Chops Owen said it was the first time Crimewatch had featured a dog that had been deliberately killed.
Anyone with information should call Crimewatch on 0800 0468 999, text 63399 with "CW" and their message, tweet @BBCCrimewatch, or call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.
A Crimewatch Roadshow spokeswoman said: "In the eight years of Crimewatch Roadshow we have covered many animal-related appeals. All the cases we feature on the series are chosen on their merit in conjunction with the police."