ATWATER, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota police chief says he has apologized to a 5-year-old boy for beheading his pet chicken.

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Atwater Police Chief Trevor Berger told The Associated Press he didn't know the chicken was a pet when he killed it with a shovel Aug. 16.

He says Phoenix Turnbull and the boy's mother, Ashley Turnbull, accepted his apology on Tuesday.

The Star Tribune reports Berger went to their house after a neighbor complained about a chicken loose in the yard. Chickens aren't allowed under city ordinance. Berger says he was concerned it was a public health issue.

Ashley Turnbull tells the newspaper she came home to find the chicken's head lying by its coop.

Berger says he still plans to propose allowing chickens within city limits at Wednesday's City Council meeting.