A 25-year-old North Carolina woman was charged with animal cruelty after taping her dog’s mouth shut and posting images on Facebook. Kimberly Ann Howell allegedly taped her pet in order to prevent it from barking, although she insists she only acted this way on fears that the dog would bite her child.
Howell then took pictures and boasted on Facebook with the caption “Ha ha.” People were unamused by the act and quickly reported her to the Rowan County Sheriff’s office. Howell was swiftly arrested but was then released on a $3,000 bond.
She vehemently denies charges of animal cruelty, stating that she immediately removed the tape after posting the pictures on Facebook. Howell insisted she was merely trying to teach the dog a lesson, training her pet to stay away from the baby. She also added that the dog struggled and could not keep the tape on for more than five minutes.
“I have made my mistakes in life too and believe me either I’ve paid for them or am still paying. But to call me an animal abuser or a child abuser that’s so not true,”
she wrote on social media. Howell also went on to post two more explanations on Facebook, defending herself and denying that any physical harm or otherwise was done to her pet.
She further confessed to being emotionally scarred by the accusations made against her. In her defense, Howell argued that social media took everything out of context, exaggerating her actions and breaching her privacy.
Detective R. C. Barkley started an investigation to determine if this was an instance of mistreating her pet. Barkley reported that officers were greeted by Howell’s boyfriend, who also claimed that it was a bad idea to treat the animal in such a manner.
The Rowan County Animal Control also took an interest in this case. Spokesperson Jamie Stivers regards this as an instance of animal abuse, arguing that even playfully taping a dog’s mouth can lead to serious health consequences. Stivers further said that there are proper ways to train one’s pet and that adequate muzzles should be used if there are fears the canine could turn violent.
Howell was due to appear in court on Friday but missed the hearing due to a traffic charge. She further added that she is committed to collaborate with investigators and defend her image.
Photo Credits: WNCN.com