Cruel kids set a puppy on fire to get "likes" on social media before laughing as it was engulfed in flames.
The distressing abuse was filmed in Romania and the frightened pooch ran off in terror.
Footage shows the youthful sickos douse the dog's back with a flammable liquid before setting it on fire with a lighter.
When it became engulfed in flames, the dog – which has been turned into a fireball – runs down the road and into the darkness
One twisted child can be heard laughing and just as the video ends, a girl can be heard screaming. The horrifying clip was taken at night in a town called Zarnesti near the city of Brasov, 138 miles north of the Romanian capital Bucharest.
Police confirmed they have opened a criminal case of animal cruelty in response to the animal's shocking treatment.
They also said that the video was posted online by a 13-year-old, claiming it was only shot to gain social media "likes". Authorities say two other children were involved, but their ages haven't been released.
Despite the abuse, the dog was found still alive according to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Ion Marcel Vela.
Dog found abandoned on park bench with child's heartbreaking note
It has now been given to the animal protection charity Kola Kariola, which will look after it.
Mr Vela said the puppy had been the victim of a terrible crime committed by several children.
The youngsters are said to have hurt the dog in a desperate attempt to get "likes" on social media after sharing the sickening attack online.
Mr Vela said: "Cruelty to animals committed by young people has extremely serious implications for their later behaviour and can quickly become violence against other people."
The Humane Society says violence against animals has been linked to criminal violence and domestic abuse.
Forensic veterinarian Melinda Merck is adamant there is a link between animal cruelty and other serious crimes, like domestic violence, arson and even murder.
And animal charity PETA claims almost half of killers in school shootings in the US had committed acts of cruelty to animals beforehand.
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