1. ITV Report

Shocking moment man is caught swinging a small dog around his head using the animal's lead

Police are hunting for a man caught on camera seen swinging a small dog around his head using the animal's lead.

Men seen walking along Julians Road near the junction of Fairview Road in Stevenage Credit: Facebook/Spotted in Stevenage

The video was recorded in Stevenage in Hertfordshire last night. It shows four men walking along a pavement with the Chihauhau.

Men seen walking along Julians Road near the junction of Fairview Road in Stevenage Credit: Facebook/Spotted in Stevenage

One of the men then suddenly lifts the dog up by its lead and repeatedly swings the animal around his head.

Men seen walking along Julians Road near the junction of Fairview Road in Stevenage Credit: Facebook/Spotted in Stevenage

Hertfordshire Police say the pet's owner had allowed her dog to be taken for a walk but was completely unaware of what happened until the video appeared on Facebook.

Men seen walking along Julians Road near the junction of Fairview Road in Stevenage Credit: Facebook/Spotted in Stevenage

No animal deserves to be treated in this way and we are taking this matter extremely seriously. This is being treated at this stage as an incident of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

We appreciate the images are not of the best quality but I am sure someone will know who these people are and I would urge you to contact me straight away.

– PC Lindsey Cox, Stevenage Safer Neighbourhood Team
Men seen walking along Julians Road near the junction of Fairview Road in Stevenage Credit: Facebook/Spotted in Stevenage

We can see there were a number of people driving and at least one other pedestrian in the area at the time, if you saw what happened please also contact me.

We are looking at lines of inquiry, including trying to trace the witness who filmed the incident, however I would ask that they also please make contact with me. If you don’t feel you can contact police then please do call Crimestoppers anonymously, we must trace these people as a matter of urgency.

– PC Lindsey Cox, Stevenage Safer Neighbourhood Team

Watch the video in full below - please note it contains footage you may find distressing

The RSPCA is very concerned about this footage of someone swinging a Chihuahua around on a lead. This would likely have caused the animal great distress as well as potentially serious injury.

We urge people to remember that they have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure animals in their care are properly looked after, free of suffering, with all their needs catered for.

– RSPCA

The dog was not injured and has been returned to its owner.

If you have any information you can contact police on 101 quoting crime reference number E1/14/4685. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. A reward is on offer.

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