Facebook video results in animal cruelty charges

Michelle A. Sieber

TARPON SPRINGS — Police arrested a 26-year-old woman on a felony animal cruelty charge at 6:07 p.m. Sept. 20 after a witness reported her behavior and posted a video of the incident on Facebook.

Michelle A. Sieber, a Tarpon Springs transient, was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on one count of cruelty to animals (domesticated dogs). Bail was set at $5,000.

Tarpon Springs police say the incident occurred about 10:45 a.m. Sept. 20 in the 800 block of Dodecanese Boulevard. The unidentified witness was dropping off his girlfriend, who works in the area, when he saw Sieber mistreating a dog.

Police also found out that the girlfriend also saw Sieber mistreat the dog about 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19. Sieber reportedly “threw” the dog “sideways” in a rough and aggressive manner into a vehicle.

Police say Sieber is apparently a transient and lives in a camper-style vehicle with two dogs.

Police reviewed the Facebook video that reportedly shows Sieber walking the dog, which was attached to a leash. Sieber is seen kicking the dog and lifting it up on the leash to the point the dog’s front paws are lifted off the ground. The dog appears to choke and gasp, police say.

Police found Sieber in Clearwater and arrested her. Pinellas County Animal Control took custody of the two dogs. Police say the dog seen being mistreated did not suffer any apparent injuries.