Police believe they know who owns two dogs that viciously attacked and killed a beloved family pet Shih Tzu while it was out for a walk with its owners in Dartmouth Monday night.

The dog's owner and her mother were out walking Odis through their neighbourhood, near Portland Estates, when the two dogs came out of nowhere and attacked Odis.

They say the dogs ripped Odis from their arms, tore him apart and killed him right in front of them.

"It's devastating," says owner Paul Burgess. "My daughter's still crying and you go home and no one's there to greet you."

He says the dogs were alone and were not wearing collars. Police have been scouring the neighbourhood and knocking on doors since the incident, trying to find out who owns the dogs.

"We believe that we've located the residence where the dogs reside and at this point our investigation is ongoing," says Theresa Rath, a spokeswoman with Halifax Regional Police.

Police say they are considering three options. They can designate the animals as dangerous dogs and issue a muzzle order, seize them, or process an application to have them put down.

"It makes me feel relieved that they found, hopefully they found the two dogs so they can be put down, so no one else in the neighbourhood has to worry," says Burgess. "It's like they found my dog's murderers. We can put it behind us and have closure."

Several people came forward after learning of the incident and offered the family a new pet, hoping it may heal the hearts of the family who suffered a devastating loss.

Darlene Dyer's puppies were born just three weeks ago and she says the family could have their pick of the litter for free.

"My Shih Tzu came to me when I was really in a sad time and I've had her for two years and she's the most exciting, happiest thing to me in my life, so when I heard such a tragedy happened to this man's dog, yeah, I felt it," she says.

But until the family feels some closure with Odis, Burgess says it's not ready to welcome a new pet into it.

"I love Odis, and I couldn't try to replace him," says Burgess. "It'd be nice to have another dog, but maybe in a year's time. Right now I don't think I could handle another dog."

Still, he says the kindness of strangers has been a comfort to the family at such a difficult time.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell