By Steve Large

VACAVILLE (CBS13) – A small group of protesters converged in front of the Vacaville Police Department Sunday with signs reading “Stop Animal Abuse,”  after cell phone video went viral showing an officer punching his K-9 partner while pinning it to the ground.

“I would like that officer to be removed from the force,” said Sarah Peavy, who organized the protest.

Peavy said the video should be a big concern to the Vacaville police force.

“Because the dog is an officer, actually, and if he’s willing to do that to a K-9, he will do that to anybody and anyone on the force or anyone locally,” she said.

Roberto Palomino recorded the video and shared it on his Facebook page.

“I just recorded a video and shared it,” he said. “I wasn’t sure if it was training. I couldn’t believe what I was watching.”

He was also at the protest, seeking answers about the K-9’s care now.

“I’m just concerned at this moment for the dog,” Palomino said.

Vacaville police released a statement saying the K-9 in the video has been removed from the care of his handler, and that the dog has been examined by a veterinarian and shows no signs of distress or injury.

Vacaville police are not releasing where the dog is being cared for now.

Immediately after that video was posted last week, Vacaville police said the altercation came during a K-9 training exercise. Vacaville police said they are evaluating the incident.