Oshkosh police investigating incident with puppies

File photo of Oshkosh police patch. (WLUK/Gabrielle Mays)

OSHKOSH, Wis. (WLUK) -- Video showing a little girl swinging and tossing a puppy by its legs has some people upset.

The Oshkosh Police Department is shedding light on the incident that happened at a home in Oshkosh. Officials said the incident was brought to their attention this past Thursday.

"Upon investigation, it was discovered that a citizen had videotaped a 5-year-old girl and her conduct with some puppies at that location. The 5-year-old's family are not owners of the puppies, and the puppies have since been returned to Milwaukee to their owners," the police department said in a news release.

The girl's mother spoke to FOX 11 on Sunday. She said her daughter meant no harm.

“She’s only 5, she was not trying to hurt the puppy. I know that,” she said.

The family would like to remain anonymous, but they wanted to share their side of the story. She said the family has a full-grown dog and the girl is used to rough-housing with it, all in good fun.

"Maybe this is why she thinks it's okay to do that with the baby," she said. "So I had to explain to her, no you can’t play with the babies like you do with the big dog."

The department said a detective is assigned to the investigation and is working with the 5-year-old's family to make sure it has the resources it needs.

A veterinarian checked seven of the puppies and didn't find any physical injures, according to police.

One puppy was sold to someone in the Milwaukee area.

"Through technology, we were able to see the puppy and it looks healthy. The executive director of the humane society also viewed the puppy through this technology and she was in agreement with our visual evaluation that the puppy looks healthy. The new owners are taking the puppy to a veterinarian as well," the department said. "The Oshkosh Police Department cares about the safety of animals and we continue to do all that we can do within the confines of Wisconsin laws and the City of Oshkosh’s ordinances, to ensure that not only these animals are healthy but that we help this 5-year-old’s family with any additional resources that they may need to ensure that this behavior doesn’t happen again."

The Oshkosh Area Humane Society also released a statement on Facebook that says, in part, "The Oshkosh Police Department made the decision to release the puppies back to the owners. OAHS had no authority in that decision." The agency also thanked "everyone that showed concern about the welfare of the dogs," but declined further comment

The girl's mother questioned why the man videotaping did not step in to stop the behavior.

"I would've stopped it immediately," she said.

The puppies were returned to their owner in Milwaukee. The Oshkosh Police Dept. says efforts are being made to make sure such treatment of animals doesn't happen again.

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