A MAN who was caught on camera brutally booting his dog at a beach on the Gold Coast has now been charged.
The RSPCA seized ‘Rocky’ the blue staffy on Tuesday after shocking footage emerged of him being kicked by his owner at Palm Beach Parklands on Monday.
Following investigations, Rocky’s owner, a 32-year-old man from Reedy Creek, was formally charged with one count of animal cruelty on Thursday.
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Video of the incident shows the man haul Rocky off the back of his black Holden ute before violently kicking him, causing him to spin around in the air while still attached to his lead.
A local woman who filmed the shocking scenes said she started filming the man after she watched him get out of his ute and allegedly punch Rocky in the head.
“The poor dog was just super excited about being at the beach,” the woman said.
The woman said she had to stop herself from stepping in and saying something because she had her baby daughter with her and “the guy seemed pretty aggressive”.
“My blood was boiling,” she said. “I made it very clear to him when he noticed me I was filming him in disgust.”
Instead, the woman reported the incident to the RSPCA and posted the cringe-worthy vision to Facebook where it has been viewed by millions of people around the world.
The footage triggered a public outcry, with tens of thousands of people from right across Australia calling for the RSPCA to take action.
The next day, Rocky was seized by RSPCA inspectors and transported to its animal care centre at Wacol where he remains this afternoon, pending the result of the investigation.
His owner will face Southport Magistrates Court next month, charged with one count of animal cruelty.
RSPCA spokesperson Michael Beatty said it was now up to the courts to decide whether Rocky would be re-homed, or returned to his owner.
Mr Beatty said Rocky was in “great condition” and appeared to have been fed well by his owner.
He said a second dog in the footage seen being handled by a woman was also checked by RSPCA inspectors on Tuesday, but was in good health and did not belong to the man, so was not seized.
In total, the RSPCA said it received 50 calls and 22 emails about Monday’s incident at Palm Beach.
An online petition calling for the RSPCA to “charge the coward who abused his staffy” had attracted more than 52,000 signatures by Thursday afternoon.