A dog has been seized from its cruel owner after he kicked and punched it in the centre of Brighton.
Sussex Police took Argo, a seven-year-old Belgian shepherd, from Massimiliano Giuliani, 42, who is homeless, after witnesses saw him mistreating his dog in St James’s Street.
Shocked onlookers reported Argo’s Italian owner after seeing him repeatedly kick and punch Argo while Argo had a lead wrapped around its mouth.
When a passerby intervened to try to help the dog, the police were called.
Police spoke to Giuliani who signed Argo over to them to avoid being prosecuted for cruelty.
Sussex Police then handed Argo over to animal welfare officers from Brighton and Hove City Council for rehoming.
Giuliani decided though that he wanted his dog back.
The council declined his request and applied to Brighton Magistrates’ Court for an order for the rehoming of the dog.
Giuliani appealed but, after reading the evidence from police and witnesses, magistrates turned down his request.
Last week (Tuesday 21 June) the court granted an order to the council to permit Argo to be rehomed.
Giuliani has since flown back to Italy without Argo.
Argo is now recovering in kennels and is due to be rehomed as soon as possible.