A man was charged with animal cruelty Thursday after he killed a family’s dog during a break-in in Perth, Australia, on Saturday.

Police said the unidentified man broke into the home early Saturday and tossed the canine, an eight-month-old pug named Coco, over the fence. While the dog’s owners - Nebojsa and Tahnee Vuksan - were in Sydney for the weekend when the incident took place, Tahnee’s mother, who was pet-sitting the animal, was fast asleep at the time. Coco’s lifeless body was found on the footpath by a neighbor a few hours later.

Speaking to the West Australian, Tahnee said the entire family was devastated by the canine’s death.

“They say a dog becomes part of the family but she was our family. She was my baby. You plan your life around your animals. You do your research and do so much to protect them and then someone comes into your house and takes them. It’s devastating,” she said.

She added that her mother was deeply impacted by the incident.

“She’s devastated. I don’t think you can put into words how she’s feeling,” she said.

Nebojsa said his pregnant wife was stressed by the dog’s death.

“We’re just heartbroken, absolutely heartbroken. We don’t need this stress at the moment. Tahnee is pregnant as well, this is extra stress in our life that we don’t need. We just want whoever did this, we just want them to be caught. This person is an absolute animal, they shouldn’t be on the street. If you can do that to a little puppy, you are not human,” he said.

Several items including the couple’s wedding album were stolen during the burglary.

“At the end of the day possessions can be replaced but lives can’t. Even though Coco was just a pug, she was more to us and to come into someone’s house and then hurt their family member. Do you have any remorse…what’s wrong with you?” Tahnee said.

In this photo, a pug dog stands in the exhibition hall on the final day of the annual Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham, England, March 13, 2011. Getty Images/ Oli Scarff