A man has been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty after a dog was stabbed 55 times in an attack in Brighton.
There were drag marks near the bushes where the dog was found
The American bulldog was found dead in undergrowth in Moulsecoomb Wild Park at about 1300 BST on Wednesday.
RSPCA inspector Tony Pritchard said the wounds were "way beyond what you would do in self-defence".
Mr Pritchard said police were following a theory that a woman had possibly been attacked by a dog, and then another person came and killed it.
"That dog was very nearly decapitated by the severity of the blows to the neck. That's not self defence, nor is hiding the body in the undergrowth," he added.
'Silver shoes found'
The animal welfare inspector said an anonymous caller told police that a woman was seen running from the undergrowth between midday and 1300 BST.
The caller also claimed a man was later seen pulling up in a white van and entering the bushes where the dog's body was found.
Stuffing from a coat was found at the scene, along with two silver shoes, Mr Pritchard said.
He added that there were drag marks on the ground, which was covered in blood.
'Get in touch'
A witness appeal has gone out to three other women in their 30s, who were seen walking a dog in the park earlier that day, between 0930 and 1000 BST.
Mr Pritchard said it would be "very useful to talk to these women about anything they may have seen" and urged them, or anyone who knows them, to "get in touch".
One had purple hair in a bob cut, the second had very short brown hair, and the third had curly brown hair.
The dog was not microchipped or wearing a collar and its owner has not been traced.