POLICE have launched an investigation after a man was allegedly seen punching a dog in the head on a Barrow street.

Officers are investigating an alleged instance of animal cruelty on Risedale Road, Barrow on Wednesday night after a call from a concerned resident.

A police spokeswoman said: "We were called at 10.56pm yesterday, with the report of concern for the welfare of an animal on Risedale Road, Barrow.

"The reported incident is being investigated."

The resident shared the details of the incident on Facebook, writing: "I was on my way home tonight and came across this human being.

"He was stood in the middle of the road on Risedale Road grabbing his dog by its mouth and constantly hitting it on the poor dogs head.

"I'm currently sat in my car crying and shaking. Never have I ever witnessed something so cruel in all my life.

"I beeped and pulled over, obviously shouting at him, to his response ‘if a dog urinates on the floor what do you do’.

"I am honestly speechless."

The dog was believed to have been attacked for urinating in a public place.

Owner of Cumbria Pet Services and Animal Rescue Furness volunteer, Kirsty Jepson, said she was 'disgusted' by the alleged attack.

She said: "It's disgusting but it doesn't surprise me.

"There doesn't seem to be a deterrent for behaviour like this so culprits are getting away with it."

Miss Jepson is calling for prison sentences to avert behaviour of animal cruelty.

"I think jail sentences are the way forward for deterring animal cruelty," she said.

"There needs to be stronger penalties for neglect and abuse otherwise it will just get worse and worse.

"Because these cases rarely get prosecuted, these animals are returning to their abusive owners and the cycle continues."

Last year in Cumbria, the RSPCA received 4,443 calls reporting cruelty, neglect, injury and suffering of all animals.

This was a slight rise on 4,415 in 2017 - including 252 about cats, 1,427 about dogs and 513 about horses.