A representational image of Indian employees from the New Delhi Municipal Corporation catching a stray dog during a sterilization and anti-rabies vaccination operation, Dec. 21, 2017. PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images

Two men tied a dog to their scooter and dragged it for around two miles in the Indian city of Ghaziabad on Friday.

Passersby stopped and caught one of them, while the other fled. The dog was taken to an animal center where it succumbed to injuries.

“After seeing two scooter-borne men dragging a dog with their scooter, some residents rushed to catch them. One of the two men on scooter fled but one was caught,” said social activist Ruchin Mehra, Daily Pioneer reported.

Saurabh Gupta, a member of the non-profit People for Animals, lodged a complaint against the youth, Nafees and Tauseef. Nafees was arrested Saturday.

“Had they not been caught by the public, the dog would have been dragged for several more kilometres. The dog was breathing heavily when people stopped them. PFA also informed that the dog had given birth to five pups barely 20 days back,” Gupta told local daily Times Of India.

“Though the dog was immediately rushed to Sanjay Gandhi Animal are Centre in Delhi, it succumbed to injuries. The medical report has revealed that the dog had injury marks all over its body. The autopsy is yet to be done. I suspect the dog could have been subjected to unnatural sex also,” he added.

“During interrogation, the accused said the dog had bitten several people in the locality therefore decided to throw her out of the locality. But the two men decided to teach the dog a lesson and tied the dog with the scooter and dragged her,” said Ran Singh, inspector of Sahibabad police station.

Gupta, however, believes the dog must have bitten people in order to protect the puppies.

“After giving birth, dogs become quite protective and they don’t like anyone coming near its puppies. It is pure motherly instinct. Despite knowing this fact, the accused tried to separate it from its babies, which is quite appalling,” Gupta added.

The organization has now rescued the puppies and made arrangements for food and shelter.

“We have arrested the accused and attempts are being made to arrest his co-accused,” the police inspector said.

In a similar incident in 2016, a dog was killed by five youths who died it to one of their bikes and dragged it for a few miles in the Indian city of Pune. Two women who witnessed the killing said the dog was first attacked with sticks. The animal then bled profusely and fell unconscious. The youth then tied a thread around the dog’s neck and tied it to one of their bikes. They dragged the dog for a few miles. The dog was found dead on the road. The youths were charged under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.