Four Colombian soldiers are under fire for using a dog for target practice.
A video posted in YouTube shows the men giggling and joking while they go about their business with a trained sniffer. Miraculously the terrified dog, Pepito, survived after being treated for its injuries.
The incident happened four months ago near the town of Pitalito, in the southern region of the Andean country. The video, however, was made public only this weekend.
The name of the soldiers has not been released but Army Colonel Fabian Stevez told El Tiempo newspaper they belong to Infantry Battalion Magdalena 27.
“Some young soldiers in an unusual game committed an act of indiscipline which will be subject to investigation of military justice,” Stevez said. “This is a regrettable and despicable act from the point of view of the National Army.”
Stevez said there would be a disciplinary investigation into the actions of the soldiers involved in the incident, calling it cruel and reprehensible.
In the cell phone video, one of the soldiers is heard instructing another to load his rifle. After a few minutes, the serviceman complies and fires a shot at the dog from just 16.4 feet away.
The incident has sparked fierce criticism among the general public, animal welfare organizations and authorities. Many of the video sharing site's users are calling for the soldiers to be treated in the same manner.
"It should be them that are treated that way and shot at to see if they like it," wrote one of them.