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Cops Find Cat In Sickening Abuse Video — And Claim He's 'Safe'

Almost a week after a disgusting video of a cat being whipped went viral, authorities in Alabama say they've located the animal - and that he's "safe." And despite the shocking footage, they've left him in the care of his owner.

Warning: Graphic video below

According to AL.com, Tuscaloosa Police began receiving complaints about the video - allegedly uploaded to social media by a University of Alabama student - early last week. In it, a man can be seen grabbing a cat by the neck and repeatedly beating him with a belt.

"The way he did it was really graphic," a police spokesperson told the site at the time.

After executing a search warrant on the student's house, however, police said, "The cat was located and determined to be safe and unharmed."

"A lot of people felt we were not doing anything to investigate this case, and that's absolutely not true," Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steven Anderson later told reporters. "But there are two things missing that we need. We don't know when the video was taken and we don't know where it was taken."

Anderson noted the suspect's mother was a police officer, but assured the press that fact had "zero bearing" on the case.

According to the Tuscaloosa News, about two dozen demonstrators held a rally outside Tuscaloosa City Hall on Monday to push for stronger animal protection laws.

"I saw the video on the Internet and it broke my heart," one woman, who drove over 50 miles to attend the rally, told the newspaper. "With all the evidence, why hasn't the guy been arrested yet?"

Since the video went viral, animal advocates have started a Change.org petition to have the student arrested and expelled from the University of Alabama.

To find out more about how you can help pass tougher animal protection laws, go here.