Salt Lake police were investigating an apparent prank in which a dead dog, which was skinned with its front paws removed, was placed on the hood of a car owned by a Newspaper Agency Corp. employee.

Officers at the scene said a couple driving past the NAC's printing facility on Regent Street about 10:45 p.m. Thursday notified employees that the dog was lying on the car.Investigators were trying to determine whether the prank was directed at the employee or the Salt Lake newspapers or was in fact just a joke by the man's co-workers, according to a police report.

Animal-control officers determined the animal, about 2 years old, had been shot and clubbed over the head day before it was found. The dog was a husky and a house pet. It was expertly skinned, police said.