The RSPCA are appealing to find a man who was seen "beating up" his dog at a popular river swimming spot in front of shocked onlookers.

Distressed members of the public saw a whippet being abused by the man at Farleigh Hungerford at around 6.45pm on Tuesday 16 July.

The Somerset spot is a popular place for people to enjoy outdoor swimming during the hot summer months, and this week has brought the hottest days of the heatwave.

The RSPCA received reports from a number of onlookers who were concerned by what they saw.

Farleigh Hungerford is a popular swimming spot Credit: Google Street View

This was witnessed by a number of shocked onlookers who’ve reported their concerns about the incident.

Miranda Albinson, RSPCA inspector

The shirtless man was with two children and a woman whilst he was seen kicking and beating the animal.

Witnesses then saw the man throw the dog into the water before yanking the visibly shaken animal back out with a slip lead.

Finally, in front of upset onlookers, he grabbed the distressed animal while the dog was attempting to go to the toilet before repeatedly shaking it and throwing it into a dark-coloured vehicle.

There are also concerns that the dog had an injury with an open wound on the thigh.

Many troubled onlookers called the RSPCA after witnessing the public incident.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call the RSPCA Credit: Google Street View

RSPCA inspector Miranda Albinson, who is investigating for the animal welfare charity, said: “We are appealing to anyone with any information about this incident to come forward and let us know as we are concerned about the safety of the dog.

“If you did see the incident, or if you know who the man is, please contact us on 0300 123 8018.”