A STAWELL family is hoping that if any good is to come from its horrible loss, it will be from preventing other young families having to deal with similar pain.
The Beaton family's pet dog, three-year-old purebred Weimaraner, Keira was killed in a suspected poisoning attack last weekend.
The canine was minding its own business playing in the family's backyard when the incident is believed to have occurred.
"How do you explain to a four year old that she can never see her best friend again because someone has killed her for no apparent reason?"Ashley Beaton
Owner, Ashley Beaton said Keira had been chosen for her good temperament with young children and spent most of her time inside.
"During a short period in the afternoon Keira had been placed in the backyard while I renovated inside.
"After I had finished what I was doing (about three hours later) I went out the back to let her back in."
Mr Beaton said what transpired next has left he, his wife and their three young children (aged nine, seven and four) shattered.
"What I found was Keira lying on the ground trying to get up but unable to stand," he said.
"She kept trying, pushing her body along the ground still unable to get up. I went over to Keira to reassure her before rushing inside to call the vet."
After speaking to a Stawell vet, Mr Beaton said they agreed to meet at the clinic out of hours.
He gathered the children together and asked them to go and get in the car because Keira was sick.
"Wondering what was going on they (the children) had to go and see Keira first," Mr Beaton said.
"Upon seeing the kids, Keira tried to get up again, but was still unable to. Having seen this, my children became very upset."
Mr Beaton said after arriving at the clinic and waiting for the vet to arrive, for what seemed like an eternity (but was only about two minutes), Keira's condition deteriorated and that sadly, she ultimately died.
"The vet opened the door, we took Keira inside, weighed her and the vet gave her an injection before going out the back to get a room ready," he said.
"While the vet was out the back Keira had a short seizure.
"When the vet came back I could see in her eyes that she was upset. That was when I realised how bad Keira was."
The vet asked Mr Beaton to return home to see if he could find any evidence of what she had eaten.
"I went home and searched the backyard for anything out of the ordinary, but everything seemed fine," he said.
"Shortly after walking back inside the phone rang. It was the vet calling to inform me that Keira had a seizure, her lungs failed and she had died."
Mr Beaton said he accepted the vet's request to investigate the cause of Keira's death.
"The vet asked if I wanted her to investigate the cause of Keira's death. I had to know so I told the vet to go ahead," he said.
"The vet rang again after about an hour asking if we had fed her any large pieces of meat recently. I told her we hadn't.
"She then went on to tell me that Keira had a large piece of meat in her stomach that appeared to have a white powder on it."
Keira had been poisoned.
"Due to the fact that Keira spends 95 percent of her time inside and that there is usually always someone home, I do not believe she was targeted for barking or upsetting surrounding neighbours," Mr Beaton said.
"This seems like a random attack that I can't come to terms with."
Mr Beaton said the loss of their pet and the circumstances in which the death occurred has left their young children inconsolable.
"The worst part is that my four-year old daughter, who spent the most time with Keira while the other kids were at school, keeps saying, 'I still miss Keira'," he said.
"How do you explain to a four year old that she can never see her best friend again because someone has killed her for no apparent reason?"
Mr Beaton's wife, Kristie has already taken to the 'Stawell Buy Swap and Sell' Facebook page to sound a warning and he said she has been inundated with similar stories and heartfelt condolences.
"So why then do we not already know about it? Why haven't we been warned that this goes on in our town?," he said.
The Beatons have filed a report with Stawell police, who are now investigating.
"If the only positive thing to come from Keira's death is a warning to other residents, then at least we can have comfort in knowing we've tried to save someone else's beloved pet," Mr Beaton said.