A DOG whose disappearance sparked a desperate seven-month search died in a waste water tank just 20 metres from where she went missing.
Richard and Suzanne Ulph hunted tirelessly for Sascha, setting up a Facebook page and organising volunteers to help search, even using a drone.
Unknown to them, the epileptic collie whippet cross had perished after somehow getting into a treatment works near her home in Stewarton, East Ayrshire.
The dog went missing on February 13, and possibly died that day, but was not found until a recent routine maintenance inspection of the facility.
Scottish Water confirmed the dog had been found at the Stewarton Waste Water Treatment Works, which serves around 7,000 people, but declined to comment further.
Suzanne told a group of loyal volunteers in a dedicated Find Sascha Facebook group the devastating news.
She wrote on Saturday: “We are very sad to say that we now know that Sascha won’t be coming home.
“She was found this week in one of the treatment tanks in the water works literally 20 meters from where Richard last saw her.
“It would have been very quick, no struggles as her harness was still intact. And it explains how she vanished completely within such a very short space of time. A totally freak accident. And absolutely impossible to see that that was where she was.
“She was only found due to routine maintenance, very kind employees of the treatment works and a woman walking her dog who knew Sascha’s story.”
She added: “We don’t know what attracted her there and we don’t know how she got in but at least we now know she only suffered for a matter of seconds.
“We have had her cremated so she is now home with us. To know that she wasn’t alone and scared, or being badly treated anywhere really makes a difference; she only knew love.
“We have an unbelievable debt of gratitude to so many people who selflessly and unquestioningly gave up so much of their time to help us.”
On social media, Suzanne McCunnie said: “I’m so sorry to hear it wasn’t a better outcome. I guess at least you know now as you would never have stopped looking and worrying. Thinking of you.”
Elizabeth Rodgers added: “So sorry. This is truly sad news and my heart goes out to you.”
Andy Howard commented: “Aww so sorry to hear this but your wee fur baby Sascha is at peace now. No more suffering for her. RIP Sascha.”