Police investigate after video shows woman abusing dog on Toronto subway
Ontario SPCA also looking into the incident after passenger video surfaces Friday
Toronto police and Ontario's animal welfare organization are now investigating after a video of what appears to be a woman biting and hitting a dog on a Toronto subway surfaced online.
The three-minute video was taken on Line 2 of the Toronto Transit Commission subway system Friday afternoon between the Bloor-Yonge and St. George stations and shows the dog attempting to get away from the woman as well as a passenger confronting her. A TTC employee can also be seen entering the train after the emergency alarm was activated.
TTC spokesperson Mike Detoma told CBC Toronto a passenger pulled the alarm at 4:20 p.m. Friday at St. George station, where the woman was escorted off the train by uniformed crew. She was met by TTC constables and Toronto police who spoke with witnesses and let her go with a warning.
"The officers did examine the dog, and based on the findings at the time, the woman was cautioned and she went about her way," Toronto police spokesperson Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook said.
Upon discovering the video, police flagged the incident to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Douglas-Cook said charges may be laid depending on the OSPCA's findings.
When asked for comment by CBC Toronto, the OSPCA said it is too early to share details on the investigation.
'I can't understand'
Roxy Huong recorded the video and uploaded it to YouTube, where it received nearly 50,000 views and made international headlines in less than a day online.
Huong said she saw the woman appearing to abuse the dog when she got on the train at Bloor-Yonge station and decided to start recording.
"I have two huskies and I can't understand why [someone] would do that in public," Huong said. "People noticed, and I saw some people walk away from her."
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Huong said she wanted to do more to intervene but was concerned for her safety.
Douglas-Cook says for those who witness similar incidents, capturing what happened on video can help police with their investigation, but she recommends not to get involved and notify police instead.
"We don't generally encourage the public to be directly involved in any kind of criminal activity. Unfortunately that includes someone acting in a manner that this woman did," she said. "It's always best to let us know. Even if it means just capturing it on video and getting the video to us so we can investigate."