Person arrested after dog violently killed at Utica park

Image 1 of 4

Police in Utica say they have a person in custody after a dog was found viciously killed at a park in Utica. 

Police didn't give any further details at this time. 

A maintenance crew found the dog at Grant Park on Jan. 24 and called police. Police determined the dog had been abused at the park, where he died of his injuries. Police wouldn't say yet how the dog died. 

The dog was chipped and police were able to contact the owner, who told them the dog had gone missing the day before. Det. Sgt. Greg Morabito with the Utica Police Department wouldn't elaborate but said they are looking into whether the dog had been stolen

The owner, who police said is not a suspect at this time, adopted the 3-year-old dog from the Michigan Humane Society just under a month ago. 

Elise Ramsey with the Michigan Humane Society says they've watched Sterling, a brown pitbull mix, grow up from birth. He came to them in a litter and had been adopted and returned twice before finding his most recent owner in December. 

"It's definitely affected a lot of people in this agency to see this outcome," she said at a news conference Tuesday. She said he was a wonderful dog who never had any behavioral issues, and that he had been returned for circumstances out of his control. 

"It was torturous," she added of the dog's death. "It's definitely something no one should have to see and [something] that a dog should never have to go through."

A reward was being offered for information that led to an arrest. Police didn't specify yet if the arrest was made after receiving a tip.