An animal-loving family has been left traumatised after their rabbit vanished - and was returned headless four days later.

Chloe Baldwin, of Waterfields, Leatherhead, discovered her two-year-old rabbit, Tony, was missing last Wednesday morning when he could not be found in his hutch in the garden.

Then on Sunday morning, her daughter Sarah, nine, found the rabbit’s body in their garden after they returned from a trip out.

It had been decapitated and its guts were hanging out.

Miss Baldwin is convinced the killer is a person, not another animal as the RSPCA suspects, and called in the police.

The 29-year-old, who has four other rabbits and two hamsters, said: "Sarah is scared to go into the garden and doesn't want to be on her own at the moment as she’s too traumatised.

"On Wednesday, we couldn’t find Tony anywhere. There was no fur around the place. Someone picked him up and walked out and then returned him four days later with no head and his guts hanging out.

"The RSPCA refused to come and look at him. It did absolutely nothing and decided to tell me over the telephone that a fox had done it.

"I wouldn’t want to meet a fox like that because it would have to be very clever.

"The cut was clean and straight down, made by a knife. My vet said that after four days, a fox wouldn’t bring a rabbit back.

"I have never seen a fox around here and I have lived here for nine years and I don’t even have any cats coming into my garden.

"The police saw the body and said it couldn’t have been a fox.

"If you are young and active you can quite easily jump over the brick wall in our garden, which is about five foot high.

"I would like to do to those responsible what they have done to me. How can you do this to a rabbit? It’s a nine-year-old’s pet."

But Diane Roberts, Spokeswoman for the RSPCA, reiterated the advice the charity had given to Miss Baldwin on Sunday.

She said: "This damage may have been caused by a fox or even a fox and a bird.

"Obviously, if she gets any hard evidence that it was caused by a human, we would ask Miss Baldwin to tell us and we will investigate."

Miss Baldwin, who had Tony for 18 months, said she and her daughter are now living in fear the attacker may return.

She added: "We can’t sleep properly as we’re scared something will happen again.

"The slightest noise and I am awake and seeing what is happening in the garden. I’m beginning to have nightmares about the whole situation.

"I’m scared that they’re going to come back and take all the rabbits.

"There is also still a missing head. I’m afraid we’re going to come home one day and Sarah will find it in our garden.

"They would have to have known that we were out so they would have been watching. I’m quite scared that we are being watched in broad daylight.

"I love animals and would do anything for them. As soon as we saw Tony, we fell in love. He was absolutely gorgeous - uniquely coloured and floppy-eared.

"He was the friendliest little thing and would not have hurt a fly."