Edward McMorris, 26, listed as a transient, is facing animal cruelty and resisting arrest charges. McMorris told police the puppy is named Tater.
Police say several witnesses reported a puppy being abused by McMorris on Wednesday. Witnesses said the puppy was hit more than five times and stomped on its head two or three times.
"If you've ever heard a dog yelp you know it's in pain," Emily Jones said, who witnessed the attack. "It was so loud that honestly I thought the dog had been hit by a car, and I was scared to look."
Jones and her husband Alex were driving down Canyon Boulevard when they decided to try and locate the dog to see if it needed help.
"You could see the guy dragging the dog," she said. "Then [he was] dragging it again while kicking it. You could see him stomping on it. You could hear pure pain."
The couple followed McMorris down the street while describing the man's whereabouts to police. Minutes later, Boulder police located McMorris and said he started running.
After they caught up with him, an arrest report says he refused commands of police so he was eventually tackled to the ground.
"If the guy would have walked away and out of eyesight, this dog probably would not have made it through the night," eyewitness Alex Connelly said.
Tater was taken to a veterinarian clinic and was treated for bruised ribs and other injuries. He was later transported to the Boulder Humane society.
A Boulder police department spokesperson says Tater is expected to be okay.
McMorris is being held at the Boulder County Jail. He has been charged with Cruelty to Animals and Obstructing a Peace Officer.
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)