A MAN seen hitting a dog on CCTV has been spoken to by police but has not been arrested.

Shocking CCTV footage captured the man punching, kicking and throwing beer over a dog in the beer garden of the Royal Oak pub in Lewes.

A clip from the pub’s CCTV cameras was shared by The Argus, thanks to barmaid Mia Finch, in the bid to identify the man involved.

After thousands of people watched the video and gave police and the RSPCA the man’s name and address, Sussex Police say they are no longer investigating.

A spokeswoman for the force said: “This is now an RSPCA investigation.”

The RSPCA said in a statement: “The RSPCA and police have traced and spoken to the man who features in CCTV footage obtained from The Royal Oak pub in Lewes following concerns raised for the welfare of a dog with the individual.

“An RSPCA inspector has also traced the dog, who does not belong to the man in the footage. Our inspector has examined the dog - a bull terrier cross type - who has no physical injuries and who is in a good condition.

“After speaking to the dog’s owner - who is not the individual featured in the CCTV footage - we are satisfied that the dog will be properly cared for.

“The matter is now an ongoing RSPCA investigation, but we would like to thank those people who contacted us with information after seeing the CCTV footage which was shared online. “

People were outraged after seeing the footage and dozens contacted The Argus concerned for the dog’s welfare.

Those who watched the footage branded the ginger-haired man “Gutless” and a “sadistic bully”.

One concerned Argus reader, Tracy Isted said “I was so outraged about the poor dog that was attacked by that waste of a space of a man.I’m worried about that poor dog.”

Royal Oak landlady Trudy Funnell witnessed just part of the incident and threw the thug out. Only later did she discover the horrifying 15-minute attack had been captured on the pub’s cameras.

She said: “It was only afterwards, when I watched the whole incident, that I realised it went on for 15 minutes.

“He punched the dog 36 times, kicked it four times, choked it twice with the lead and poured a pint of beer over it. I felt so guilty when I realised I let the poor dog leave with that man.”