It's hard to know exactly what happened to Alfie after he was stolen from his Sunshine backyard last week.
But injuries sustained by the three-year-old Kelpie-Labrador cross prove it was horrendous.
After going missing last Thursday night, Alfie turned up on his owners' doorstep with several shocking stab wounds, a rope tied around his back leg and symptoms of being attacked by larger dogs.
It's believed he was stolen to be used as bait for a dog fight, and feared was stabbed, starved and abused.
Vets say it's remarkable Alfie lived, let alone somehow found his way home.
LISTEN: Alfie's owner, Sheena, with Ross and John
But now the hunt's on for his attackers, amid fears more dogs could meet similar fates.
Police are searching for a man and woman who were seen leaving the Alfie's Fraser Street house on Thursday afternoon in a dark-coloured older model Holden Commodore with distinctive wheel rims.
The woman was described as aged between 25 and 35, of a thin build. The man had olive skin.
Alfie is still under close observation after undergoing surgery and treatment that has already cost about $7000.
Alfie in full health