Police in California are searching for a teenage boy captured on social media throwing a kitten across a street.
A Snapchat video shows the teenager lifting the animal with both hands and throwing it high into the air across a street in the city of Ontario. The cat can be seen hitting the ground.
Police say the cat survived the incident but it suffered a broken leg. The boy is believed to be 16 years old.
The 10-second video has provoked an angry reaction from social media users.
In a statement shared on Twitter, Ontario police department said they would not be releasing the name of the suspect, due to his age. He has yet to be located.
“He hangs around here in the alley all the time,” Oscar Ramos told the station. “He probably did it just to look cool on video.”
Police say they have spoken to the cat’s owners, who confirmed the cat was safe, but injured.
They are quoted by a local NBC affiliate as saying that the video is too distressing for them to watch.
“I just want him to know he hurt a victim that can’t defend itself,” one of the owners, Perla, said.
The cat, named Spots, was a stray they had found four months ago.
The video provoked a strong reaction from social media users, with many angry at the actions depicted in the video.
On Twitter, MissXBlondie described the behaviour as “sick”.
Another Twitter user, Ellie Butcher, said the video was “disgusting”.