RSPCA Victoria is investigating after a dog was kicked at a violent protest in Melbourne on Monday.
The shock footage of the dog on the receiving end of a boot emerged during a protest in Melbourne’s CBD in which hundreds of construction workers and anti-vaccination protestors clashed over COVID-19 vaccination mandates.
The footage shows a man kicking a dog as it is walked past with an uninvolved pedestrian. The incident happened outside the headquarters of Melbourne’s construction union, where the workers and other protesters targeted their anger.
The RSPCA confirmed on Tuesday it had received multiple reports in relation to the incident.
RSPCA Victoria chief Inspector Michael Stagg said the case was being investigated as a priority.
“It was disturbing to see the footage, which appeared to show intentional cruelty inflicted on a defenceless animal,” he said.
“I assure the Victorian community that RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate is investigating this alleged case of cruelty with the intention of holding the perpetrator accountable to the full extent of the law.”
“There is no excuse for any animal to be subjected to abuse and we want to send the strong message that we will continue to hold people to account for such behaviour.”
It is illegal to abuse, beat, worry, torment or terrify an animal. The offence carries a maximum penalty of $45,435 or 12 months’ jail.
Witnesses with first-hand information relating to the case are encouraged to make a report to RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate via www.rspcavic.org/report or by calling (03) 9224 2222.