A 19-year old man from Welwyn Garden City has been arrested this morning following an appeal for information after police began a probe over an online video showing a dog being swung by its lead in Stevenage.

The man was arrested on suspicion of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

He is currently in police custody and will be interviewed by detectives.

The video, shot at around 6pm on Thursday in Julians Road, Stevenage, showed a man walking down the road swinging a chihuahua on a lead around his head several times.

The dog was not injured and was returned to his female owner later that evening. It is understood that a group of men had been allowed to take the dog for a walk and she was not aware of what happened until the video was posted on Facebook.

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “The RSPCA is very concerned about this footage of someone swinging a Chihuahua around on a lead. This would likely have caused the animal great distress as well as potentially serious injury.

“We urge people to remember that they have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure animals in their care are properly looked after, free of suffering, with all their needs catered for.”