Nova Scotia

Halifax police charge woman accused of swinging dog by leash on Canada Day

Police have charged a Dartmouth, N.S., woman with willfully causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and assault with a weapon.

Police say they opened an investigation after seeing the video Monday

Police have charged a 27-year-old woman from Dartmouth after a dog was swung by its leash in an incident on Canada Day. (Robert Short/CBC)

Police have charged a Dartmouth, N.S., woman in relation to an incident of animal mistreatment on Canada Day.

A video that was widely shared online shows a woman violently swinging a small dog by its leash.

The 27-year-old woman was charged with willfully causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and assault with a weapon. The weapon referred to in the charges is the dog.

On July 1, officers were called to the 600 block of Windmill Road in Dartmouth around 5:30 p.m. to calls of "a physical altercation" involving four women.

On Saturday, police said the incident started after two females in one vehicle confronted two females in the second vehicle regarding being cut off in a drive-thru.

"Part way through the confrontation, one of the women took hold of the dog from the vehicle and swung it at the other individual using it as a weapon," Const. John MacLeod with the Halifax Regional Police told CBC's Mainstreet.

MacLeod said the dog was not injured as far as police know.

"The officers were able to obviously speak with the dog owner as part of their investigation at the time and it didn't appear that there was any injuries to the dog at that time," he said.

Video circulating on social media

Police said they were told a dog was involved in the incident, but the extent of which the dog was involved was not clear on Saturday.

In the release sent out on Wednesday, police said they opened an investigation on Monday after being made aware of a video circulating on social media "depicting the mistreatment of one of the dogs by a woman who is not the dog's owner."

The video shows a woman pulling a dog out of a vehicle by its leash. When the driver gets out and pursues her, the woman whips the dog at the driver.

Halifax police say investigators arrested the woman without incident at an address in Dartmouth at 8 a.m. this morning.

The woman is scheduled to appear in Dartmouth provincial court on Wednesday.

With files from CBC's Mainstreet