ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque man was caught on video Thursday abusing his dog. Witnesses said they were by Winrock Mall on Thursday when they saw the man kicking, choking, and swinging the dog around by its leash. It was all caught on video around 12:30 p.m. outside Chuz Fitness. “He is doing this in public,” one of the witnesses said in the cell phone video. “What is he going to do at home?”

Witnesses said they were leaving the gym and saw the man abusing the dog. “He dragged his dog through a neighborhood north of the gym,” one witness said. “The entire time, he is dragging the dog along and kicking it in the face. It was 30 minutes or so that he was abusing his dog publicly like this like it was normal.”

The witnesses called the Albuquerque Police Department. They said police arrived along with an Albuquerque Animal Welfare officer who they said questioned the man. “He claimed it was his first time taking his dog out on a walk,” the witness said. “He also claimed he is used to his dogs running on free land, and he was trying to train it to walk on a leash which was a horrible excuse.”

The witnesses claimed police did take the man’s dog and put it in the back of the police car, but police ultimately gave the dog back to the man even after seeing the video. The witnesses said police told them there was nothing they could do. “It was disappointing and deflating to know they gave the dog back to the owner and wasted our time and a disservice to that poor animal,” the witness said. “I can’t stop thinking about it.”

The witnesses said that it’s unacceptable. “I have three dogs. I am definitely an animal lover so seeing that man’s behavior was disgusting,” the witness said. “It was shocking and really horrible to see.”

APD said Animal Welfare did issue the man four citations and educated him on how to properly handle the dog. KRQE News 13 reached out to Animal Welfare Thursday evening and said they are looking into the case and will provide an update on Friday.