A MAN has lost his beloved canine companion after the dog was found in the street with a gunshot wound.
Oscar, the three-year-old Maltese Shih tzu, was playing outside the yard when he was shot near his spine.
Owner David Miller was at home when neighbours discovered the injured pooch in the street.
Oscar was rushed to Four Paws in Townsville before being taken to the James Cook University Vet where it was determined the pooch had suffered a gunshot wound.
It is believed the dog was shot with a 22 rifle after a 22 bullet shell was found inside him.
Kirwan Police and the RSPCA are investigating the incident.
Mr Miller said he had lost his companion who he had planned to grow old with.
"I didn't realise at the time that he had been shot, I though a big dog had gotten a hold of him," he said.
"We had to put him down."
Mr Miller said it was the second dog the family had lost in 15 months.
"We had another dog who disappeared, I thought someone had stolen him," he said.
"But maybe he was shot too.
"I am South Sea islander and I'm hoping this wasn't racism.
"You get these little fellas for companionship, it breaks your heart.
"I expected to have that little puppy around and to see each other out."
Mr Miller said Oscar had been cremated.
"It's very disgusting that this happened, everyone knows Oscar around here," he said.
"We didn't hear a gunshot."
A police spokesman said they were called to the residence at about 8pm on Thursday night.
"Police have commenced investigations into offences against the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 and the Weapons Act 1990," he said.
RSPCA Queensland regional inspector Frank Bebernitz said an investigation had been started.
"It [gunshots] is more common in areas that have larger blocks or acreage rather than in residential areas," he said.
"Without knowing where he was shot, it's a bit hard to make a comment."