Authorities in Toronto have seized a dog that police say was seen in an online video being hit by its owner on a subway train.
The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals took the dog after executing a search warrant on Monday and charges are pending against the owner, OSPCA spokeswoman Alison Cross said Tuesday.
Police said they were called to St. George Station in downtown Toronto on Friday afternoon for a report of a dog being abused.
Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook said police interviewed a woman and witnesses and ultimately issued her a warning, releasing her with the dog.
“We couldn’t do anything because the dog appeared to be unhurt and we didn’t have access to any video of the incident at the time,” Douglas-Cook said.
A video appearing to show the incident surfaced later that day, Douglas-Cook said.
In the video, which has been viewed more than a million times on YouTube, a woman appears to hit, pull and bite a small dog sitting on her lap on a subway train.
“You hear me? Stop it, stop it right now,” the woman yells at the dog, which is on a leash and is seen trying to move away several times.
“You’ve got to stop hitting your dog,” a man is seen saying to the woman when the train is stopped and the emergency alarm is going off.
“Stop what? Pardon?” the woman says to the man before hurling expletives.
After watching the clip, police were “concerned for the dog” and notified the OSPCA, which opened an investigation, Douglas-Cook said.