Disturbing video has emerged of the moment a US police officer punched his canine partner, with an outraged witness saying he heard the dog crying during the "hard beating".
Robert Palomino filmed the incident in Vacaville, California, and told local news outlet FOX40 that it was "disturbing to watch"
"I hear the crying and it caught my attention. As I looked over, I see an officer punching over and over a dog," Roberto Palomino said.
"Disturbing to watch."
Palomino said he was near his workplace when he saw the officer punch the dog repeatedly.
"Unfortunately, I only recorded the one punch. But the reason I pulled my phone is because of the hard beating the dog was taking from the officer," he told FOX40.
"Before I pulled my phone, I saw the officer sometime around 10 times and that's the reason why it made me pull my phone."
Vacaville Police Captain Matt Lydon defended the officer and said it had turned on its handler.
He said the dog was doing an exercise to find drugs and was rewarded with a toy but lunged and attempted to bite the officer when he tried to remove the toy.
Although the officer was not bitten Lydon said the needed to establish his dominance
"And why it's important is the handler has to have complete control over that K-9 to ensure public safety," Lydon said.
Meanwhile, a police officer in Massachusetts fatally shot his dog after it bit him.
According to a press release from the Plymouth Police Department, Officer Keith Larson was forced to shoot his dog Nico when it attacked and bit him.
"After several attempts to disengage Nico, Officer Larson was forced to utilise his service weapon," the police department wrote in its release.
The dog was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
Larson is a 17-year veteran and has been working with Nico since August 2019.
He previously received a bite to his hand while deploying the animal in April of 2020.
"It happened in less than 30-45 seconds, which is a long time that he had to go through that," Police Chief Michael Botieri told media.
"I'm sure you realise it is difficult for a K-9 officer to dispatch their own dog like that."