Residents of an upscale neighborhood in Nicaragua's capital say someone is shooting pet dogs with arrows, killing several inside their own yards.

In an impoverished Central American country where strays have long led miserable lives in the streets, the killing of at least seven cherished house dogs has caused an uproar.

Renato Franco Penalba says his basset-Pekingese mix named Cookie died this month with a crossbow bolt through her chest. When he described the ordeal on a social networking site, he began to hear of similar cases in or around the neighborhood.

Police say they are investigating.

Whoever is killing the dogs apparently uses a relatively costly imported crossbow, something few Nicaraguans can afford. That has led to speculation that the attacks are some sort of sick sport.