A Florida woman has been arrested on suspicion of felony animal cruelty after video of her choking and yanking a dog while on a leash went viral, police.
The video shows the woman, identified as Michelle A Sieber, 26, kicking and choking the dog by pulling on its leash as she walks up to an RV, and prepares to enter the vehicle. But before she can, Vincent Minutello, the man who shot the video on Friday morning, drives up and tells Seiber she shouldn't be hurting her dog like that.
“Hey can you go a little easier on that dog please?” Minutello asks Sieber.
“You want him?” says Sieber with a laugh.
“You can’t do what you’re doing?” insists Minutello.
“Pull on his collar?” she asks.
“You’re choking him. You’re hanging your dog,” says Minutello.
“I’m not hanging him” Sieber says.
“He’s sitting there by his neck and he can’t breathe. If you watch him,” says Minutello.
“Well, if he stays here he doesn’t get pulled,” says Sieber.
“You can’t do that.” Minutello responded.
“That’s how collars work,” says Sieber.
Minutello drove off and posted the video to his Facebook page
According to WFLA of Tampa, Seiber is the daughter of Rea Seiber, a Tarpon Springs City Commissioner. The 26-year-old lives in an RV parked behind her mother's wine shop. Her mother, Rea, told the station that Michelle has suffered from mental illness and has been through a lot of trauma over the last 7-8 years.
Seiber was arrested by the Tarpon Springs Police Department on Friday after authorities were made aware of the video by Minutello, which has racked up thousands of comments.
"The suspect is apparently transient and resides in her camper type vehicle with two dogs," Sgt. Robert Faugno said in a statement.
Police also said the Minutello's girlfriend told them that she witnessed Sieber throw the dog into the RV as they were driving away and that Seiber's dogs had been seized and transferred into the care of animal control officers.