A MAN had to be taken to hospital after being attacked in the street by an angry crowd when he was allegedly seen beating his dog.
Witnesses claimed the man attacked a black and white collie dog with one of a pair of crutches he was using, while also kicking the animal in the head and body.
He was then assaulted by three men who had been passing the scene in a car, and was later taken to hospital to be treated for his injuries.
Police are now investigating the incident of assault and animal cruelty, which took place on Friday afternoon on Stevenson Drive opposite Balgreen Primary School.
The Scottish SPCA is also investigating.
One shocked witness reportedly said the assault was sparked by a “horrendous” beating the man gave his dog, which he said was “petrified and cowering”.
The witness called the police about the attack on the dog and was waiting for them to arrive when the owner was assaulted.
He said: “From nowhere a car stopped and three guys got out and started attacking the dog owner. The guy then ran into the post office before the three guys fled the area.
“The police went into the post office to speak to the owner. The officers said that they wouldn’t allow him to leave with his dog.”
Another witness, who did not wish to be named, said the man was bleeding from his head following the attack. He said: “He looked like he’d been properly beaten up. He had a lump on his head and was bleeding from a cut.”
Police Scotland are appealing for more information about the alleged events.
Inspector Stevie Dolan from Police Scotland said: “Police in Edinburgh responded to a call on Friday, December 20, in relation to an assault and animal cruelty on Stevenson Drive. As a result of this, a man was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for minor injuries.
“A man was detained and questioned and later released without charge. The SSPCA have been informed of the circumstances.
“Anyone who witnessed the assault or has any other information is asked to contact Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
The dog was taken to the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home after being checked over by a vet, and has since been released back to its owner.
A spokesman for the Dog and Cat Home said: “The dog was checked over by a vet before being brought to us and no treatment was required. We were contacted on Tuesday morning by Police Scotland who informed us we could release the dog back to its owner, which we were obliged to do.”
A spokeswoman for the Scottish SPCA confirmed an investigation had begun.
Scottish SPCA Inspector June Chalcroft said: “Police alerted us to an incident involving a dog allegedly being beaten by its owner in the Edinburgh area on Friday evening and our inquiries are currently ongoing.”