A Florida woman has been charged with felony animal cruelty after she was caught on video brutally abusing a dog that seemed to choke multiple times during the horrific incident.
The footage was captured Friday morning by Vincent Minutello, who was driving by the woman and her trailer when he witnessed the abuse in Tarpon Spring, a city near Tampa.
The suspect was identified as 26-year-old Michelle Sieber, according to online arrest records by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
The disturbing video shows the woman slowly walking her dog on a short leash when she randomly kicks the animal. She’s then seen repeatedly pulling up the leash so hard that the dog appears to choke multiple times.
** Update 22Sep19 your voices of concern have been heard world wide. News media from around the world are covering this story all because of everyone’s support against animal abuse. I really hope everyone can focus on the positive that is coming from this video and not the negative. Violence and threats are completely against the message I am hoping to spread. Michelle A. Sieber to my knowledge has not been bailed out with her bail set to $5,000. She is facing Felony charges. The dogs are SAFE and being held until the investigation is over. ** Thank you for all the support! For those who would have choose the violent route I understand your frustration. However documenting is key to a habitual offender. The link below confirms her booking into the Pinellas county jail. https://iontb.com/woman-arrested-after-video-released-of-her-abusing-a-dog-in-tarpon-springs/ Great job everyone! *** Update she has been found and the dogs are safe. Great job TSPD!! Thanks everyone for your help.**** **** Update this was reported to local authorities by me early this morning. They have identified the woman in this video earlier on. Tarpon Springs Police Department was extremely supportive and started an investigation. Please don’t incriminate yourselves with violence. That is a short term reaction to what seems to be a long term problem. With this video hopefully we can put a stop to it. To my knowledge they have not located her or the vehicle yet but I will keep everyone posted. Thank you.*** ****Tarpon friends please share if you see the van let me know where or call Tarpon Springs Police Department**** Who do I call to report animal abuse?
Minutello drove closer to her, rolled down his window and asked her to go “easier on that dog.”
“You’re choking him. You’re hanging your dog,” he’s heard telling her in the video, which quickly went viral and has been viewed more than 100,000 times.
Sieber, standing next to a trailer, denied hanging the dog despite the footage.
“He’s sitting there by his neck and he can’t breathe if you watch him,” Minutello is heard saying to her.
“OK. You can have him if you want,” she replied.
Minutello wrote on Facebook that he contacted police after the incident and her dogs were safe. Police told local ABC affiliate WFTS that two dogs were taken from her and they did not appear to have any injuries.
Sieber was held on $5,000 bond.