The couple behind a viral video – appearing to show a dog in distress – is speaking out about their decision to film the ordeal and share it online.
WFXR News has chosen not to show/link any part of the video because of its gruesome nature, but descriptions in the following piece may still be upsetting to some readers. Discretion is advised.
“I unhooked the dog, and it fell lifeless to the ground. And I’m like, “oh, I’m too late,”” said Neighbor Travis Thacker.
Travis and his wife, Anna, have lived on Carnell Lane for almost 10 years.
They say the neighborhood was relatively quiet until a woman moved next door three years ago.
“I’ve talked to a lot of our neighbors, and everyone is fed up with it,” he said.
The couple claims the woman is a self-described dog breeder and owns around 40 animals at a time.
They say some of the dogs are tethered in her backyard, even in extreme weather.
They say – on Saturday – one dog’s chain became twisted, suspending it in the air by its neck.
“The chain was twisted up and its feet were off the ground. And even you can see in the video, when I took the dog off of it, when I unhooked it from the collar, the chain did unravel a little bit, but it was still well off the ground,” he said.
Anna says she started filming immediately in order to have proof for police.
“We needed people to know that this is what was going on, and that it needs to stop. We needed other people’s help to get this story out,” she said.
Travis says there wasn’t time to alert his neighbor.
“It was an emergency. If I waited, it would have been gone,” he said.
WFXR News reached out to Lynchburg Police and the Lynchburg Animal Control Unit for comment, but has not yet heard back.
A police statement, published to Facebook Saturday, says in part “The dog is in the care of a licensed veterinarian at this time. Charges are pending for animal cruelty under the Code of Virginia.”
Despite seeing a person enter the house – WFXR News was not greeted at the door after knocking several times over an hour.
“We have thought about moving, but we really can’t move. Because who would buy a house next to 50 dogs?” she said.