A video on Twitter showing a law enforcement officer kicking a dog in the head in front of its owner has sparked an uproar, with social media users saying it was a callous example of animal abuse.
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security has identified the officer in the video as Sgt. Brian Beard, who has been placed on administrative leave, the Indiana State Police said in a statement on Monday.
The incident occurred around 10 pm on Friday, when some of the 33 horses and two hounds used by a police training centre near Mount Carmel, near Indianapolis, escaped their pens and ran into a road.
The Mount Carmel police chief, however, said that the police department was not involved in the incident.
Footage taken by a woman appears to show Beard kicking the dog in the head, while an officer in a van is seen picking up the animal and bringing it back to the police station.
An animal abuse investigation was launched after the video was posted on Twitter by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and has “led to the arrest of the person responsible”, according to the department.
The incident comes just a few months after another video was posted on social media showing an Indiana police officer kicking a dog in the head during a traffic stop.
In a statement, the Mount Carmel police chief said: “This officer did not kick this animal. Based on the video, one would have to conclude this officer acted inappropriately.
“While this situation is unfortunate, it is not a reflection of the hard work of our officers or how they would respond in similar circumstances.”
The American Humane Association, which accredits the department, said it was investigating the incident and “will ensure all necessary steps are taken to ensure our animals are safe.”