Video has gone viral on Chinese social media today showing a pair of exhausted-looking dogs tied to the back of an SUV being forced to keep up as the vehicle drives down a busy street. When the SUV comes to a stop, one of the dogs lies down on the road.

People were able to quickly identify the dog owner, calling for him to be punished for his cruelty. However, the owner has responded to these calls, saying that he loves dogs and that internet users do not know the truth of the situation.

The man told a local newspaper in Dalian that he wasn’t torturing the dogs, but training for an upcoming race. While he usually trains them by letting them run on treadmills, with the race date fast approaching, he decided to let them get some extra practice in while on his way to work.

However, it doesn’t seem like most people are buying the owner’s excuse. Arguing that just because it’s for a race, doesn’t mean it’s not abuse. “I’d like to tie him to the back of my car and see how long he manages to keep up,” wrote one angry Weibo user.