A Pewsey family is distraught after their three-year-old cocker spaniel went missing from Savernake Forest yesterday afternoon.

Owner Rachel Spratling, of Swan Road, believes that the dog, Stevie, has been snatched after her collar was found in a bush in Ham, which is about six miles from where she went missing.

Stevie had been taken for a walk with the family’s au pair, Jess Barnes, and her border terrier at 1pm around Grand Avenue.

The family spent three hours looking for the dog. On their return home, Mrs Spratling had a phone call from the person who found Stevie's collar, which had been undone, and they suspect it was thrown out of the window of a moving car.

She said: “The house feels empty without her; it feels like losing one of the children.

“We have two daughters who are 12 and nine and the dog belongs to the nine-year-old and she is distraught. She bought Stevie herself with her own money.”

Stevie is black with a small white bib.

Mrs Spratling said:”We don’t want to believe she has been taken but unfortunately it looks like that is what has happened.

“Ham is at least five or six miles away so she could have legged it but it’s unlikely.

“All of us are disgusted at the thought that somebody could take her.”

If you have any information email amauremootoo@gazetteandherald.co.uk