A police probe has been launched after a video posted by a Northampton man appeared to show a puppy being held underwater in a bath.
Hundreds of Facebook users commented on the short clip and almost 6,000 people have shared it over the weekend to express their disgust.
The video appears to show a small terrier-type dog being held above a bath of soapy water before being dropped in and held down.
A man's voice says: "See your dog? It's going to be getting drowned."
Though it has been widely shared on social media, police have not confirmed the identity of the man and it is not yet known whether he will face prosecution. The Chronicle & Echo has made attempts to contact the man.
Northamptonshire Police has confirmed the dog is "safe and well" however, and has now been returned to its owner.
A spokeswoman said: "We are aware of a video currently circulating on social media relating to cruelty to a dog.
"The dog is safe and well and the circumstances relating to the video are currently being investigated by officers from Northamptonshire Police, who will liaise with animal welfare authorities as appropriate.”
The RSPCA also received a number of calls regarding the video.
A spokeswoman for the animal welfare charity said: "We've been made aware of this distressing video, it is completely unacceptable to treat a dog in this way, and would like to thank those people who have reported it to us.
"We are unable to give any more detail due to legal reasons, but please rest assured we have taken this complaint seriously."