PORTSMOUTH - A Portsmouth woman accused of staging a burglary so she could kill her boyfriend’s dog tried to cover her tracks by placing a lost-and-found advertisement in the Portsmouth Herald last week. The ad had asked for the public’s help in locating the pet. On Sunday, Portsmouth police charged Shannon C. Walters, 33, of 5 Nichols Ave., Newmarket, with cruelty to animals for allegedly drowning the dog, named "Dewey," at the home of Erin M. Wylie, 27, of 50 Harvard St., Portsmouth. Wylie was charged as being an accomplice to that act. Both crimes are Class B felonies.

Last Friday, police in Kittery, Maine, arrested Walters and Wylie in connection with a reported May 18 burglary at a home in neighboring Eliot, Maine.

A computer, a camera, and a 2-year-old dachshund were reported as stolen from the home.

The tale behind the dog’s disappearance began to come into focus when Walters reportedly told police that Wylie was the burglary victim’s girlfriend, and that she did not like his dog. Walters allegedly said the burglary was staged so they could take the pet.

Authorities allege that immediately after the burglary, the two women "at their own admission" went to Wylie’s Portsmouth home, where Wylie filled her bathtub with water and Walters drowned the dog, said Eliot Patrolman Thomas Hundley on Monday.

Authorities apprehended the suspects last Friday night after Hundley received information from Newmarket police that Walters and Wylie wanted to meet at the Dairy Queen at the Kittery traffic circle at about 10 p.m. There, they planned to talk about what to do next.

A Newmarket resident had tipped off police about that meeting after discovering e-mail messages sent between Walters and Wylie that allegedly implicated them in the crimes, according to Hundley.

"In the e-mails was talk of the burglary, stealing the dog, and the death of the dog," he said.

Kittery police subsequently arrested Walters after she showed up at the Dairy Queen.

"(Officers) found the dead dog in the back of (Walters’) truck," said Kittery police Sgt. Charles Denault.

Wylie was a little late for the meeting, he added. But minutes later, when she arrived at the Kittery police station to help bail out Walters, police arrested her as well, according to Denault.

"They confessed to burglary and murdering the dog," he said.

On Sunday, Wylie and Walters turned themselves in to Portsmouth police, after officers issued warrants for their arrest on the cruelty to animals charges.

But last week, on Thursday, May 20, a woman who identified herself as Erin Wylie claimed the dog had been lost. At that time, she called the Herald to place a classified advertisement, which claimed a 2-year-old miniature black-and-tan dachshund named "Dewey" was last seen May 18 on River Road in Eliot, Maine. The dog was wearing a brown leather collar, the ad said. Members of the public who may have had information about the pet’s whereabouts were encouraged to call a Maine telephone number listed in the advertisement.

No one answered the phone at that number on Monday afternoon. Likewise, neither Walters nor Wylie could be reached for comment.