Florida woman faces animal cruelty charge after viral video

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (WFLA/CNN) – A Florida woman was charged with felony animal cruelty after police say a video showed her choking and hanging her dog by his leash.

The video went viral, with tens of thousands of views.

WFLA reports that the video also shows the woman kicking the dog.

People called for the woman’s arrest, and on Friday they got their wish.

Tarpon Springs Police said 26-year-old Michelle Sieber is the woman shown in the video, which was recorded by Vincent Minutello around 10:45 Friday morning.

Sieber is seen violently yanking her dog, then suspending his body in the air as he gasps.

It was too much for Minutello, who confronted Sieber.

"Hey, can you go a little easier on that dog, please?" Minutello says to Sieber in the video.

"Want him?" Sieber asks.

Minutello tells Sieber she can’t do what she’s doing.

"Pull on his collar?" Sieber asks.

"You're choking him,” Minutello says. “You're hanging your dog."

"I'm not hanging him," Sieber answers.

"He's sitting there by his neck and he can't breathe, if you watch him," Minutello says.

"Well, if he stays here, he doesn't get pulled," Sieber replies.

"OK, well you can't – " Minutello starts.

"That's how collars work," Sieber says.

Sieber, who was arrested in 2012 on suspicion of hitting an elderly person, is the daughter of Tarpon Springs City Commissioner Rea Sieber.

Michelle Sieber lives in a camper behind her mother’s wine shop.

Police found her in Clearwater, Florida, on Friday afternoon. They booked her into jail and charged her with animal cruelty.

Animal control took her two dogs. They did not appear to be injured.

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