SWANTON, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont police department says two people are facing animal abuse charges after a dead dog was found in the Swanton apartment where they had been living.

Swanton police were called to the Depot Street apartment March 7 after receiving a report that a dog had died after it was mistreated at the apartment.

Police and the town health officer made contact with the owners who let officials inside where they discovered the dog carcass. Police say the dog had been starved and was killed by having its skull cracked open with a sharp object.

The dog's owners, 26-year-old Kevin Cosgrove and 24-year-old Brittany Weston of Swanton, are scheduled to appear in court next month to answer a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals. It's unclear if they have attorneys.