By JENNIFER HUXLEY
A MACLEAN family has been devastated by the discovery of their pet dog lying disfigured in a cane field close to the family home.
The shetland sheepdog went missing when it was frightened by the storm on Friday night and was found at noon the next day, disembowelled.
The dog's body was found in the the middle of the field.
Owner Terry Gould said that the family's two dogs followed the car along Farlows Lane when his wife Corina left the house on Friday evening.
He said she drove 'a few kilometres' before turning back to check that the dogs had returned home.
"When she came back she couldn't find either of the dogs, but she saw a patch of blood on the road," Mr Gould said.
"The whole family is grieving for our little Sheba ? the kids are having nightmares ? and our other dog, Penny, is still missing.
"What I'm really struggling to come to grips with is that whoever it was that did this, they hit the dog or whatever they did, and then actively sought to hide the dead pet from us ? it's just so cruel to the kids."
Mr Gould said he 'had a fair idea who did it' and that one of his daughters spotted and identified a car travelling along the quiet lane at the time of the incident.
He said the police and the RSPCA were investigating the incident.
RSPCA spokesperson Gerry Rose said if the incident was found to be malicious and a culprit was found, he or she would face charges for aggravated animal cruelty, a $22,000 fine and two years in jail.
The Gould family would appreciate any information on the whereabouts of their missing black shetland sheepdog Penny.