KANSAS CITY, MO (KSHB/CNN) – Kansas City officials said pieces of a dismembered horse were found at a Missouri disc golf course Monday night.
Warning. Some viewers may find this story disturbing due to the graphic nature.
Authorities said the remains were found near the Kessler Park’s 17th hole.
"Never found anything like this," said Alan Ashurst, an illegal dumping investigator for the city.
A man playing frisbee golf found the dismembered animal.
Investigators discovered a severed head, legs and hooves, some organs, a ribcage and spine.
But what's concerning is that they found no other muscle or meat.
"Potentially whoever may have dumped this animal may have used the rest of the meat for some other purposes that's unknown at this point in time," said James Donovan, an animal control special investigator.
The incident is now being investigated as animal cruelty and illegal dumping.
"This is the one and only time I've ever been called in to this location or any sort of dumping," Ashurst said.
"Kansas City has an ordinance that it's illegal to bury an animal within the city. It has to be properly disposed of."
Normally the city's 311 line will get calls for dead dogs and cats, and the city will come collect the animal for free and cremate it at the animal shelter.
This situation, however, would not apply.
Normally when a horse dies, the owner will bury it on their land, but it can't be within 300 feet of any water source or neighbors.
Rolling Acres Pet Cemetery said that rendering plants won't take horses from properties anymore because they are considered pets and some are euthanized with chemicals and medications.
Using a cemetery to cremate or bury a horse can cost anywhere from $750 to more than $3,000.
"It's very uncommon to come to a city park and discover these items being discarded, not by normal means necessary," Donovan said.
Police and Kansas City officials are investigating if any surveillance cameras captured the suspect.
The remains are being sent to Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine to determine the horse's cause of death.