Harrowing footage of dog torture sparks outrage

dog animal cruelty


  • Footage gleaned from social media sites exposes aggravated animal cruelty.
  • One young man is shown beating a dog about the body with a tomahawk while hung from the neck.
  • At least two young adults are implicated in the cruelty, currently under investigation by Victorian authorities.

Sickening footage recently shared online of a domestic dog hung by the throat whilst being beaten about the body with a tomahawk has provoked outrage and condemnation from Australia’s longest-running animal rights organisation, Animal Liberation. 

“The footage we have seen is cruelty incarnate. There’s simply no other way to describe it. One offender is shown attacking the dog, hung by the neck, with a tomahawk. At least one other individual films the torture on a smartphone. It is among the most distressing material we have recently received and we believe that those responsible should face the harshest sentences available under Victorian legislation.”

Alex Vince, Animal Liberation campaign coordinator

Initially filmed on Snapchat, the material was subsequently shared via Facebook. At least two young men are directly implicated in the cruelty, though more may have been present at the scene, which appears to be an abandoned building.

Barrie Tapp of Animal Liberation’s 1800 Cruelty Hotline took the call.

“This rates as one of the worst I have seen in all my years in animal welfare. These offenders must be caught. We are working with VicPol to bring these people to account”.

Barrie Tapp, Animal Liberation’s 1800 Cruelty Hotline

For over half a century the existence of precursors to violent antisocial behaviour has hinged on animal cruelty. Ample studies identify a strong link between the abuse of animals and subsequent harm of other humans, in some cases including spree or serial killing. Experts in the area believe that cruelty to animals is one of four acts that predict violent antisocial behaviour. The other acts are tied to bed-wetting, fire-setting or arson. The handbook of mental disorders and their symptoms has included cruelty to animals for over three decades. 

“Cruelty to animals has long been known as a precursor to violence committed upon other people. It is an extremely strong predictor of subsequent homicide and arson, while domestic violence offences feature prominently in cruelty offenders’ criminal records.”

Alex Vince, Animal Liberation campaign coordinator

The Victorian branch of the RSPCA has been informed of the footage. The 1800 Animal Cruelty Hotline run 24/7 by Animal Liberation was the first to be alerted to the case. Subsequently, the Victorian Police Force has initiated an investigation based on the information provided by the Hotline.

Animal Liberation understands that the Victorian Police are investigating the footage. If you believe you have any information, please call Crime Stoppers or Lilydale Police on (03) 9739 2300. Further information can be obtained by consulting with our Animal Cruelty Hotline or the contact details provided below. 

[email protected]

Need to report animal cruelty? Phone our Cruelty Hotline 1800 751 770

The filmer can be heard saying “Someone’s pet dog.”
Screenshot taken from video sent to Animal Liberation


  1. The Murphy brothers started out torturing animals. Those who did this need the full force of the law brought down on them. Lock them up, they are psychopaths.

  2. What will happen to these young thug murderers when they are found? A slap on the wrist and told not to be naughty boys? Not good enough! These violent murderous thugs should all get the same treatment they gave to this dear innocent dog. These murderous thugs will never stop with their violence until their punishment matches their crimes.

  3. This is so deeply distressing to read the find out about. At times like this, we find it almost impossible to imagine that our fellow human beings are capable of such gratuitous torture on another living being, in this case an innocent animal. We can only imagine the agony that animal in the image went through and the fear and powerlessness of them.

    We seem to have so much chaos in the world at the moment and society’s shadow is coming out ie. “Systemic and institutionalised cruetly behind closed doors is being brought out into the light and enacted by others outside of animal agriculture, vivisection and other forms of abuse”.

    Thankyou Animal Liberation for your amazing work – stay strong everyone and thankyou for being part of the solution.

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