By Oren Liebermann, Cherri Gregg and John McDevitt

COATSVILLE, Pa. (CBS) — Authorities with the Chester County SPCA are asking for the public’s help finding out what happened to a small dog whose remains were found burned early Saturday morning.

Just after 2:30 a.m., firefighters responded to a trash fire on the 300 block of Coates Street in Coatesville. Once extinguished, firefighters made a grim discovery.

“After extinguishing the fire, the fire department discovered it was not a trash fire,” Coatesville Police Department Detective Kevin Campbell said. “They discovered a burnt dog.”

According to the SPCA, the dog was a young adult Yorkshire Terrier.

Police say someone lit it on fire and left it in a trash bag. The dog was burned all over.

SPCA officials say images of the dog are too graphic to show, but they describe it as being about 15 pounds, with silver, black and tan hair and estimate that the dog is approximately 3 to 5-years-old.

“In the eight years I’ve been here I’ve never seen something so horrific in my life,” SPCA Officer Craig Baxter said. “Just how could someone do this to a small animal is beyond my belief.”

Aigner Brown says it may be her dog, Prince, a 4-year-old Yorkshire Terrier.  Brown said Prince has been missing since Friday afternoon.

“He wouldn’t hurt nobody,” Brown said. “He wouldn’t have done nothing. That’s messed up that someone would be so cruel as to capture the dog.”

Authorities will take the dog for examination to find out the cause of death, either from the fire they suspect, or someone abusing the dog before. A necropsy is scheduled for Monday.