Police have charged a man with “causing an animal unnecessary suffering” after a video uploaded on Facebook featured a man swinging a Chihuahua above his head.
Alfie Loft, 19, from Hatfield, was charged on Sunday by Hertfordshire Police and has subsequently been remanded in custody to appear in Hatfield Magistrates Court on Monday, as a result of the footage that emerged on Facebook on 31 July.
The video that was captured by an onlooker in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, showed a man lift the dog off the ground by the lead and then repeatedly swing it in circles above his head.
He was accompanied by three other men, one of which was also walking a dog.
In a statement on the Hertfordshire Police’s Facebook page, they said: “Alfie Loft, 19, from Hatfield was charged today (Sunday August 3rd) and has been remanded into custody.
“He will appear before Hatfield Magistrates Court tomorrow morning (Monday August 4th).
“Hertfordshire Constabulary would like to reaffirm that the owner of the dog was not involved in this incident.”
According to the police, the pet’s owner had “trusted” Loft to walk her dog, but had no idea of what had happened to her Chihuahua until the video appeared on Facebook.
The dog is believed to have suffered no injuries, and is now safely back at home with its owner.
The video was posted on the Facebook page Spotted in Stevenage, which was set up by a man who calls himself The Stevenage STIG.
In response to posting the video the Stevenage STIG said: “I feel that after I had posted the video it would reach out to many people in Stevenage and we would come together to find these scum.
“My page has comes under fire many times because it has been controversial in its content, however in matters such as these or any other incident that happens locally, I will highlight it on my page good or bad.”
So far the original video has received over 3,000 shares.