Dog owners advised to be on their guard after a decapitated golden retriever was found in Leicester

Police in Leicester have warned dog owners to be on their guard following the grisly find of a decapitated golden retriever.

The dog – which is believed to be a family pet – was found on waste ground on the outskirts of the city, lying on a sheet of black plastic.

A full police investigation is under way, anda spokesman said that the head had been removed with a clean cut. The use of the sheeting suggested a pre-planned killing.

“The dog was not wearing a collar or an identity microchip tag,” said a spokesman. “We would urge all pet owners to be on their guard.”

Police believe that the retriever had been moved to the location after its death, because there was no evidence of blood at the site. Part of the head was recovered close-by.

Deana Selby, a spokeswoman for the National Canine Defence League has described the killing as “shocking, savage and unbelievable.”

Lynda Brown, a council dog warden who patrols the area, said: “There is no way someone could have done this without someone else knowingabout it. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

The body was found last weekend, but the police today renewed their appeal for witnesses, and asked for anyone who has lost a pet golden retriever to come forward.

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