Woman accused of duct-taping dog’s mouth, posting photos

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A woman was arrested after she duct-taped her dog’s mouth shut, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina.

The sheriff’s office received a report Wednesday that a woman had taped her dog’s mouth shut because she was upset that the dog was barking too much. The referral from the Department of Social Services said the woman had posted pictures on Facebook with a caption of “hah hah.”

  • PRESS PLAY -- Channel 9 reporter Mark Becker spoke with the dog owner's boyfriend:

                   

Investigators contacted Kimberly Ann Howell of Salisbury. Officials said Howell said she thought it would be funny to wrap duct tape around her dog’s mouth on Monday, and she took photos. She told officials that she left the tape on long enough only to take the picture, then removed it.

Investigators said Howell showed officials five pictures of the dog with duct tape on her mouth.

Investigators said Howell was upset about the fact that people had made rude comments to her on Facebook, accusing her of abusing the dog. Officials told Howell that it was unacceptable to seal the dog’s mouth shut with duct tape.

Howell was arrested on a misdemeanor cruelty to animals charge and was given a $2,000 secured bond. She was also served an outstanding order of arrest for failure to appear in court or two older traffic charges.

She has a court date of Nov. 4.

Since there were no apparent injuries or signs of neglect or mistreatment, the dog was left in Howell’s custody, but she was informed that a follow-up visit could take place at any time to check on the condition of the dog, the sheriff’s office said.