OPINION: I'll never forget the day I found my beautiful little horse Polly with a rope pulled so tightly around her neck that she had almost lost consciousness.
It was New Year's Day and I was feeling inspired after a few days celebrating at the 2012-13 Woodford Folk Festival.
That didn't last long.
We had to use a knife to literally saw the rope off Polly.
Her breathing was shallow and her eyes sunken into her head.
Her face was so swollen that I could barely get her mouth open to check the colour of her gums.
It was hard to comprehend that someone had not only trespassed on my property and crudely tied up my horse, but left her to slowly suffocate.
She was completely and utterly exhausted when we got to her.
The vet told me to wait and watch.
I waited and watched with tears rolling down my cheeks.
But eventually she did something that told me she was going to be just fine - she walked over to a patch of grass and nibbled at it.
That is when the fear left and the rage kicked in.
The person who almost killed Polly clearly had no idea how hard it is to keep a horse happy and healthy without complete idiots trespassing on your property and tying nooses around their necks.
Until I met Maryborough man Matt Smith on Monday, I hadn't felt the level of rage I experienced on that day.
Matt lost his best mate Sabre on Saturday night when someone mixed up a concoction of mince and industrial strength drain cleaner and fed it to the defenceless eight-month-old puppy, which was being looked after for the night by his in-laws.
To add insult to injury, this happened on the night of Matt's 21st birthday.
What should have been one of the happiest nights of his life will be one he will remember for all the wrong reasons.
The person who carried out this disgusting attack needs to take a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror.
This incident was clearly premeditated and carefully executed.
If there was an issue with the dogs at that house, wouldn't the most rational course of action be to talk to the owners face-to-face and sort something out?
Or at least lodge a complaint with the council?
Sneaking around with poison and killing dogs, that's the lowest of the low.
And the saddest part has to be that this person is not alone - there are plenty more out there who regard animals as worthless beings without feelings and emotions, wants and needs.
Who wasn't shocked by the sight of an ibis speared with an arrow and left to die in Maryborough a few weeks ago?
Or saddened by the images from Indonesia of terrified Australian cows being strung up by their necks and hoisted up into the air by a crane?
Even a person who isn't an animal lover would have to struggle to rationalise such shocking treatment of innocent creatures.
To this day I still have no idea who tied the rope around Polly's neck.
She's stopped shying away from the lead rope and it looks like the mark from the rope won't scar as badly as I thought.
Unlike Sabre, Polly will live to see another day.
It is up to us as a community to break this chain of disgusting anti-social behaviour.
If you see something suspicious or upsetting, do something about it. Please.
We all have a responsibility to promote animal care and report abuse.
We are their only hope.