An unidentified male student at the University of Alabama has reportedly posted a video (shown below) of himself beating a cat with a belt on social media.
The graphic video was first posted on YouTube, and shared through Twitter, AL.com reports. Police officials in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where the university is located, first became aware of the video depicting animal abuse on the night of Nov. 2 when they received a report from a Twitter user.
The man who posted the video has since removed it from his Twitter account and changed his Twitter username, but a copy of the video remains on YouTube.
The original YouTube video was viewed 700 times by the afternoon of Nov. 3.
The video shows the man holding a black and white cat by the neck in what appears to be his bedroom and hitting it several times with a belt.
"The way he did it was really graphic," Lt. Teena Richardson, a spokeswoman for the Tuscaloosa Police Department, told AL.com.
The beating reportedly occurred after the cat threw up on the man's bed.
Tuscaloosa police are currently still investigating the incident, and no arrests have been made as of Nov. 3. Richardson noted that after an arrest warrant is issued, the man's name and charges will be released. He reportedly does not live on campus.
University of Alabama spokesman Chris Bryant told Tuscaloosa News that the university's police department also started receiving calls about the video on the night of Nov. 2.
"We are aware of a video depicting animal cruelty," the university said in a released statement. "The individual has been referred to law enforcement and UA's Office of Student Conduct."
It's unclear what has happened to the cat following the release of the video.
Under state law, cruelty to a domesticated cat or dog is a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $6,000 or imprisonment of up to one year.
About 18 percent of all animal cruelty cases reported to the media in 2007 involved cats, according to statistics published by the Humane Society of the United States.
WARNING: Graphic content of animal abuse
Photo Credit: Ttownfeen/Wikimedia Commons, Video Screenshot