A Hammond Police K-9 officer was placed on administrative leave this week after YouTube video surfaced of the officer apparently abusing his police dog.
The video posted Wednesday shows an officer using a leash to lift the dog to its hind legs, then striking the dog's middle section with what appears to be another leash. He then lifts the dog into the air by the leash, and the dog is seen swinging around once.
The dog is struck another time before being directed back to the squad car.
The Hammond, Ind. Police Department received the video and placed the officer on leave pending a full investigation of the incident, a police spokesman said in a statement.
Police do not name the officer in the statement.
"At this time, the Department has observed behavior by the K-9 handler that appears to be inconsistent with acceptable training guidelines," the spokesman said.
Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. issued the following statement regarding the video:
"Anybody who loves dogs as much as I do is always saddened and shocked anytime you hear of a dog's abuse. When you find out it happened with an employee of yours, it makes it that much more shocking and disturbing. Please know that the Hammond PD does not condone that type of behavior of any of it's officers, nor is it tolerated in this administration."
Officials with the Humane Society worry the dog many have been injured.
"It's certainly not any training I would condone or urge anyone to follow," said Kristina Montgomery of the Calumet Area Humane Society. "Lifting a dog like that off the ground can do damage to the training itself, but also to the dog’s physical health."
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Attempts to reach out to the person who posted the video to YouTube were not immediately returned.