12/17/2013 12:20 EST | Updated 02/16/2014 05:59 EST

Stolen dogs found dead along rural interior B.C. highway

Police in B.C.'s Interior are taking tips from the public in the hopes of tracking down thieves who may have killed two of four dogs that were taken in a break-in last week.

RCMP Const. Krista Vrolyk said the bodies of two boxers were found off a rural highway not long after they were taken from a home 50 kilometres away on Matthews Road in Quesnel.

"Shortly after 4 a.m., passing motorists discovered one of the dogs — a boxer — wandering off the Nazko highway near the Slide Mountain area. After stopping to retrieve that dog, the motorists followed tracks in the area which lead them to two of the other dogs," Vrolyk said.

Police believe the dogs, both boxers, were killed on purpose and the remains are being examined by a veterinarian, who will attempt to determine the cause of death.

A fourth dog, a dachshund, is unaccounted for.

Quesnel RCMP believe the theft of the dogs was a targeted incident, and officers are continuing to investigate.