PAINESVILLE, Ohio -- The Painesville Police Department is facing heavy scrutiny on social media after an officer was accused of mistreating a dying pit bull this week.

Somebody who claims they witnessed the incident posted the allegations on the police department’s Facebook page.

“I’m so lost for words for what happened yesterday,” they wrote. “A beautiful pit bull got hit in front of my work yesterday.”

As several people stopped to check on the dog’s condition, a Painesville officer arrived on the scene.

“He then grabbed the dog by her legs, kicked her in the head and threw her in the truck [trunk] of his cruiser."

Police say the dog was hit in front of Riders Tavern. When the officer arrived, he picked the dog up by two legs and loaded it into the trunk of his cruiser as children watched nearby.

NOTE: You can read the full complaint sent to the police department at the bottom of this story.

The post quickly churned anger. Here are some of the reactions on Facebook:

- “That’s horrific. And cops wonder where they get their name as PIGS!!!!!”

- “Heartless and uncalled for!!! Painesville Police Department should be ashamed!!!”

- “My dog passed away on 6-9-17 and to hear this ANGERS me to no end!!! These pigs are supposed to be there to protect and serve and this particular PIG did just the oppostie!!!!!!!”

- “This POS ‘officer’ needs to be held accountable!”

- “This officer needs to be reprimanded.”

- “Maybe the officer should do community service hours at the Lake County Shelter!”

- “If he could do this to an animal, what does he do with a person?”

Painesville Police Chief Dan Waterman posted the following statement at 9 a.m. Friday on Facebook:

We currently have 3 of the department’s supervisor’s working actively as we look into this incident in detail. We are in the process of contacting everyone who was on scene, and are reaching out to the parents of the children who witnessed this. We have already spoken to the owners, and more information will follow this afternoon. Thank you to those who have helped us looking into this and relayed what occurred we greatly appreciate your time.

Police say the officer admitted to nudging the dog with his foot to ensure he would not be bitten. The officer says he wasn't aware there were children watching when he loaded the dog into the trunk.

Here's the exact post from the person who issued the complaint on Facebook:

I’m so lost for words for what happened yesterday. A beautiful pitbull got hit in front of my work yesterday, grateful many people stopped to see if she was okay unfortunately she was dying I sat there petting her head for her last breath makin sure she knew she wasn’t alone. Some nice person gave her a sheet to be covered with so she could be comfortable. As the painesville police officer arrived he then grabbed the dog by her legs kicked her in the head n threw her in the truck of his cruiser. I could never have been more pissed off in my life! Mind you there were children standing there about 6 years old or so that were saying a prayer for her as he did this. I would have put her in the trunk if I knew he was going to do that very uncalled for!!! The painesville officer was very heartless! I’m so upset by how he handled her, I want this to be known cause it truly hurts me to have seen this. She may have been a dog but she was someone’s best friend. I know I wouldn’t want this for my babies. My dogs are family they’re my fur babies!! R.i.p. baby girl.

Police say they reached out to apologize to the dog's owner and the person who called in the incident.