A North Carolina woman has been charged with animal cruelty after she taped her dog's mouth shut with duct tape to keep it from barking, police say.
Kimberly Ann Howell of Salisbury, North Carolina, reportedly taped her dog's mouth shut with duct tape to stop it from barking. She then took photos of the dog and shared them on Facebook with the caption "Ha ha."
Howell, 25, was arrested and charged with animal cruelty after posting the pictures. She is currently out of jail on $3,000 bond for the charge and failure to appear for outstanding traffic charges.
After a Facebook friend of Howell's saw the pictures of her dog, Leah, they reported Howell to the Rowan Sheriff's Office, according to investigators.
Howell told investigators that she taped her dog's mouth shut because it was barking, but WBTV took a screenshot of the original post with the photos.
"I warned her!" Howell wrote. "I told her I was going to teach her not to bite the baby again even play biting lol she so pidiful (sic) I can't even make her keep it on for five minutes lol she jumped up on me and was like but please mamma!"
When detectives arrived at Howell's home to begin an investigation, her boyfriend said that he knew it was a bad idea to tape the dog's mouth shut. Howell said that she took the tape off right after she posted the pictures.
Howell said that it was not "a big deal" and that the dog was "not physically hurt."
According to the report, Howell seemed to be more bothered by the comments people on Facebook were making about her after the post than she was about what happened to her dog.
Detective Ryan Barkley, who was investigating the incident, said that he consulted with Animal Control, who said that the dog could remain with Howell because there were "no apparent injuries or sign of neglect or mistreatment."
Howell continued to post on Facebook after being released from jail.
"I have made my mistakes in life too and believe me either I've paid for them or am still paying for them. But to call me an animal abuser or child abuser that's so not true," she posted Wednesday.
Her boyfriend said that the whole incident had been blown out of proportion.
“The dog is in perfect health, I mean there’s nothing, as you can see she’s far from abused, I’m an avid animal lover and I’ve had 10-12 rescue dogs over the last couple years," he said. “There was a lot of backlash out of this, people took it out of context, I mean it was a bad decision on her part, she shouldn’t have posted it, the tape wasn’t on the dog longer than two minutes, it shouldn’t have been done it was just a bad judgment.”
Photo Credit: WBTV