IT WAS supposed to be an occasion of joy and celebration, but the night of Matt Smith's 21st birthday party will forever be a painful memory after his beloved dog Sabre became the victim of a deliberate baiting attack.
Mr Smith said the drama started to unfold at 11pm on Saturday when his girlfriend's parents arrived home from the party in Maryborough to find eight-month-old Sabre, who they were looking after for the night, suffering severe vomiting and diarrhoea
"We weren't too worried at first, but five minutes later they called us from the vet - they said he was dying," he said.
Mr Smith and girlfriend Sarah James dropped everything and rushed to the vet surgery.
There they found their beloved malamute pup barely clinging to life.
"The vet said there was nothing he could do and the only thing that could have hit him that hard and fast was industrial strength drain cleaner or hydroxide," Mr Smith said.
"My in-laws don't have anything like that in the house, let alone on the veranda where he was locked up.
"The vet also found traces of mince meat coming out of his mouth. We don't feed him mince meat."
Mr Smith said he couldn't fathom why someone had purposely targeted his dog.
"He was such a good dog, full of character," he said.
"He was given to us by the breeder because he had a heart murmur.
"He wasn't expected to live six months. And now this has happened."
He and Ms James's family were now living in fear that the person who baited Sabre might target someone else.
"This is obviously a targeted attack. The house is high set and Sabre was up on the veranda," Ms James said.
"My parents have two other dogs there.
"A few years ago we got a notice from the council for barking, but we addressed that and nothing has happened since."
They are encouraging anyone who saw anything suspicious along Arnaud or Odessa Sts in Granville on Saturday night to report it to the police.
"I don't want anyone else to have to go through this," Mr Smith said.