A Montclair man is facing animal cruelty charges after police say he allegedly swung a dog around on a leash and caused it to hit a tree.

Lawrence Athill, 64, was arrested following the incident on Sunday, March 18, which took place on Eagle Rock Way, according to Police Lt. David O'Dowd.

O'Dowd said that Athill had been seen swinging the 40-pound mixed breed through the air on the leash when it hit a tree. The dog was observed to have a small amount of blood on its head but it did not appear to be seriously injured. Animal control officers responded and took the dog for medical treatment, and the dog will remain in their care pending a final determination, O'Dowd said.

Police did not specify whether the dog belonged to Athill or to someone else.

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