Police and members of the Chester County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are investigating the gruesome discovery of a dog that had been put in a bag and set on fire early Saturday morning in Coatesville.

According to police, a passerby had reported what appeared to have been a trash fire shortly after 2:30 a.m. Saturday, but responding firefighters discovered it was actually a dead dog that had been put in a bag and set on fire.

They said testing is needed before they can determine whether or not the dog had been alive or dead before it was set on fire.

Coatesville Police detective Kevin Campbell said he had never seen anything like this in his 15 years of police work. He said they expect foul play was involved, as the dog was “dumped in the middle of nowhere.”

He added that evidence was collected at the scene, which they hope will lead them to those responsible.

Officials with the Chester County SPCA said the dog appears to have been a young adult male Yorkshire Terrier or a mixed breed. Photographs had been taken of the dog, but they said they thought they were too disturbing to release to the public.

Investigators have not been able to locate the animal’s owner and are asking anyone with a dog matching that description to contact the Chester County SPCA.

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