04/30/2013 11:49 EDT

Dog's Head Found In Pickering Park

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Durham Regional Police are investigating a possible case of animal cruelty after a decapitated dog’s head was found in a park in Pickering over the weekend, CP24 reports.

Police were called to Summer Park near Finch Ave. and Altona Rd. after a caller reported seeing a severed dog’s head.

The dog’s remains were not found.

"It was just a head. No body," Insp. Jeff Friend told The Toronto Star.

Friend added that the dog’s head had decomposed.

Dave Selby, a police spokesman, told The Toronto Sun that while coyotes could be responsible, the "small" dog’s head looked like it was cut off with "a sharp tool,", making the incident a possible case of animal cruelty.

"We’re told that if a coyote had done this it would be ripped or torn," Selby said. "So the nature of this wound is a concern to us."

A collar with the owner’s information was found, and Const. Chris Barkwell told the CBC that the family was "devastated." The dog went missing in January and the family had put up posters for any information, Barkwell added.

He said police are still not sure how the incident happened.

"It could be just the case of a coyote that got it, which is still a public safety risk … but we’re not sure as of yet," he said.

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