ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — A North Carolina woman has been charged with animal cruelty after she posted photos to Facebook of a dog with her muzzle taped shut.
The Rowan County sheriff’s department reports they were contacted on September 30 in regards to Kimberly Ann Howell, 25, who had posted several photographs to Facebook that showed duct tape wrapped around her dog’s muzzle. The caption wrote, “hah hah.”
When investigators visited Howell, she says that she was upset that her dog, Leah, had been barking too much. She claims she only put the tape on long enough to take the photographs and that it was only meant to be a joke.
“Ms. Howell stated that she immediately began receiving harassing comments via Facebook and took the photos off,” according to a statement released by the sheriff’s department.
Even though Leah appeared to be in good health with no signs of neglect, Howell was arrested on a misdemeanour charge of animal cruelty with a $2,000 secured bond. Leah was allowed to stay in the care of Howell.
When WSOC TV visited her home, Howell’s boyfriend, John Kubala, showed Leah to them and said, “She’s as far from abused as she could ever be.”
“It was a decision that was bad judgment that shouldn’t have been posted. It was all in fun,” he said. “Both of us are avid animal lovers. It was a hard lesson learned here.”
This arrest comes on the heels of a terrible case of animal cruelty in Charleston where a dog had been terribly damaged after she was found with her muzzled taped shut. William Leonard Dodson of North Charleston was arrested and charged with ill treatment of animals.
Howell is expected to appear in court on November 4.