RCMP said DNA tests show a skinned carcass found at the start of January in an area where residents have been concerned about the disappearances of dogs belongs to a coyote.

A resident spotted the carcass positioned near a highway in southeastern Manitoba, close to New Bothwell, in early January.

The carcass was examined by a provincial vet. Police said it's possible the animal was shot, killed and then skinned by a hunter.

Multiple residents in the area have reported their dogs disappearing recently and voiced concerns about them being taken.

Police maintain there is no evidence to suggest anything untoward has happened to the missing dogs. Despite that, the rumour mill continues to grow as worried pet owners turn to social media reports of a suspected dog fighting rings, a suspicious red truck and a man supposedly taking them.

Of the reports received by police, officers said most of the dogs have since been reunited with their owners. Others were killed by a coyote or hit by vehicles, with less than a handful still unaccounted for, said police.

“It’s our opinion at this time there’s really nothing to indicate that there’s any kind of abduction or wholesale kidnapping of dogs," said Cpl. Miles Hiebert from RCMP.