Owner and rescuer respond after animal cruelty incident in Lynchburg

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) — A man saved the life of a dog that was stuck on it’s leash over the weekend in Lynchburg.

A video is circulating on social media of the dog in distress and it has people upset.

Travis Thacker and his wife Anna said they found one-year-old Siren choking after she got tangled on her leash Saturday.

Travis Thacker had helped the dog get off the leash and resuscitated it after seeing it’s lifeless body out of their home’s front window.

"Once it hit the ground I really thought it was over, but then it took one gasp of breath and that’s when I knew I had a chance of saving it so I tried doing the CPR, compressions on the chest…" Thacker said. "I got the dog breathing again."

After a few minutes, the dog came to.

The Thacker family called police. "I was trying to stay with the animal until they got there," Thacker said.

He said the first time police came they didn’t take the dog.

Emily Hubbard owns Siren.

She said the dog was only outside for about 15 minutes while she was in the backyard.

"I was unaware," Hubbard said. "The dog got loose and had bit a hole in the fence and I hooked her up there to go into the back and see where she had gotten out."

Hubbard said she didn’t know the extent of what happened until two hours after the incident when the Thacker family posted the video on Facebook.

"When I saw the video, it made me want to throw up," she said. "If he wouldn’t have got her, you know she would be dead, but like I didn’t do that intentional, like I love all my dogs."

She said the dog tangled herself up in her chain.

"It was because the swivel on this, like she kept spinning," Hubbard said. " She said Siren spun around too much on her chain which caused the chain to shorten.

"She choked herself," Hubbard said.

Later Saturday Lynchburg Police said the dog was taken by animal control.

Siren is under the care of a licensed veterinarian while the investigation is underway.

Hubbard said the dog seemed fine when she brought her in the house after the incident before police came back for her.

"I brought her into the kitchen she was eating and drinking completely fine, and acting like a normal dog," Hubbard.

Hubbard said she is currently taking care of 18 dogs and wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to any of them.

She said 13 of the dogs are hers, but the others are her friends that she said are staying with her temporarily.

Some of the dogs are puppies and she said they are in the process of finding a permanent home.

The Lynchburg Police Department said animal cruelty charges are pending.

According to court records, nothing was officially filed as of Sunday night.

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