Disturbing footage shows the moment two men push their frightened dog off a 6-foot wall before driving away.
A CCTV camera captured the two men hauling what appears to be a young boxer-type up the metal railings outside Seguin Animal Services in Texas.
The dog can be seen in the video struggling and scared to jump down by itself, before its owners shove it over the other side and abandon it in the middle of the night.
A manhunt is underway to find the suspects, who are seen fleeing the scene in a light-coloured SUV heading northbound at around 11pm on April 25.
It is believed the owner may have been trying to avoid paying a compulsory administration fee for legally leaving the dog at the animal shelter during opening hours.
The video shared on Thursday on social media, shows the two men initially checking the area outside the shelter for witnesses.
One stands next to the car keeping an eye out, while the other inspects the back of the building.
With the coast clear, they open the boot and one of the men – pictured wearing a hat – grabs a dog and carries it to the fence.
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As it struggles, the second man steps in to help push it up to the top of the railings.
The poor animal is then seen desperately trying to keep its balance as the men repeatedly shove it, before it tumbles to the ground appearing as though it will land head first.
He is seen immediately on his paws and running towards the fence but finds itself trapped as the men quickly drive away.
Viewers on social media were horrified by the footage and said it was lucky it wasn’t injured.
One wrote: ‘I am sorry but most people know that the proper humane thing to do is to wait until the shelter is open. It’s not just about money, it’s about the process and treating animals with dignity.
‘That poor pup looked scared and hurt from being pushed over the fence. How sad.’
Another said: ‘If they truly had any regard for the dog they would have waited for the shelter to open the following day or at the very least, tie the dog to the fence.
‘This dog could have broken its hip, leg or neck.’
Others said at least the dog would soon have new loving owners that would take better care for it.
Seguin Police Department said: ‘If you have information about these men, contact the Seguin Police Department at (830)379-2123.
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‘The Seguin Animal Services does accept owner surrender animals but there is a process to do so.
‘Seguin Animal Services is open Monday – Friday, 9am- 5pm, or Saturday from 9.30am until noon. You are required to reside in the city to owner surrender and there are fees associated with it.’