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Two employees at Mexican pet store discovered slapping dogs as 'welcome'

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 15:  A Chihuahua waits adoption at a Los Angeles Department of Animal Services shelter on December 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Chihuahuas make up about a third of the dogs at many California shelters, so many that some shelters are shipping Chihuahuas to other states to find homes. A shelter in Oakland sent about 100 to Arizona, Oregon and Washington. Recently, a Los Angeles city shelter flew 25 Chihuahuas to Nashua, New Hampshire where all found homes within a day through the local Humane Society. Experts have blamed the glut of abandoned Chihuahuas in California on the influence of pop culture, a bad economy, puppy mills and backyard breeders. Fans sometimes abandon the dogs when they are no longer new and cute to them or when expensive vet bills start to add up. The tiny dogs are named for the Mexican state of Chihuahua.   (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 15: A Chihuahua waits adoption at a Los Angeles Department of Animal Services shelter on December 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Chihuahuas make up about a third of the dogs at many California shelters, so many that some shelters are shipping Chihuahuas to other states to find homes. A shelter in Oakland sent about 100 to Arizona, Oregon and Washington. Recently, a Los Angeles city shelter flew 25 Chihuahuas to Nashua, New Hampshire where all found homes within a day through the local Humane Society. Experts have blamed the glut of abandoned Chihuahuas in California on the influence of pop culture, a bad economy, puppy mills and backyard breeders. Fans sometimes abandon the dogs when they are no longer new and cute to them or when expensive vet bills start to add up. The tiny dogs are named for the Mexican state of Chihuahua. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)  (2009 Getty Images)

A Mexican pet store has been temporarily closed and two employees are under investigation by prosecutors after a video surfaced of them slapping Chihuahuas repeatedly to "welcome" them to the store.

The Maskota pet store chain said Wednesday that it had identified the two employees from the video and filed criminal complaints against them. It said their behavior violated the chain's commitment to animal welfare.

In the video, the two take turns holding up Chihuahuas by the scruffs of their necks and repeatedly slapping, shaking and kneeing them.

The prosecutor's office in the north-central state of Hidalgo said it is investigating the incident as a property damage complaint.

It is unclear if Hidalgo has animal protection laws that might carry a more serious penalty.

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