Public’s help sought in dog-head incident |

Public’s help sought in dog-head incident

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times

As of Monday afternoon, no one had stepped forward to report a missing dog that matches the description of the severed canine head found in El Jebel’s Crown Mountain Park on Sunday, the park manager said.

Chris Woods, executive director of the park, said anyone with information about who was responsible for the dog’s death or how the dog was killed should call the Eagle County Animal Services Department at 970-328-3647. The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office turned the case over to Animal Services following the initial discovery of the head Sunday morning about 200 yards east of the park’s tennis courts.

Woods said that to his knowledge, no other matching body parts have been found in the park.

“It’s saddening,” he said. “We pride ourselves to be such a community park. I can’t believe there are people out there like that.”

A man who would not disclose his name phoned in a tip to The Aspen Times on Sunday afternoon, saying he found the dog’s head around 7:20 a.m. and reported it to the Sheriff’s Office.

He described the dog as a chihuahua-miniature pinscher mix but added that the breeds only were a guess. He said the head was black with some brown hair around the ears and that it was not in a state of decomposition.

The man said the head was severed cleanly and there were no other body parts in the vicinity of it. No identifying items, such as a collar or an ID tag, were next to the head, the man said.

“Someone’s missing their dog, and I’d like for them to know about it,” the man said.

However, a Basalt resident, Matt Ross, said he was walking his two dogs in the park on Saturday morning and found a severed paw and leg with brown and black hair. As with the head, the break looked like a clean cut made by a human — not the style of an animal predator.

He said he left the paw atop a waste container with hopes that anyone searching for their missing dog might come across it. He went out of town for a day and then reported what he had found to authorities after seeing news stories about the discovery of the head Monday morning.

“I think they are taking this seriously,” he said of the Sheriff’s Office.

Woods said the incident was the first of its type for the park.

“Eagle County will look into it, and that’s pretty much all I know,” he said.

The director of the county’s Animal Services Department did not return a phone message left Monday.