Local News

Rowan woman must serve at animal shelter for taping dog's snout

Posted December 4, 2015

Kimberly Ann Howell of Salisbury

— A jury in Rowan County found a woman guilty of animal cruelty because of a picture of her dog with its snout taped shut.

Kimberly Ann Howell of Salisbury uploaded the photo to Facebook in September with a caption of "Ha Ha." The post was soon taken down.

Howell says the dog was never hurt in the incident.

The judge placed Howell on supervised parole. She'll have to do community service at an animal shelter.


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  • Steve Faulkner Dec 5, 2015
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    I am confused, this is not the woman Cary Police charged this past Monday. How/when did this Rowan County woman get charged? It must have been a while ago, if it's already gone to a jury trial. So, how many people have committed this one crime?

  • King Mopar Dec 4, 2015
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    Not smart at all. We do funny things sometimes with our pets, like dress up and all....but taping a dogs mouth shut, you really have to be short a few bricks of a load. Dogs breath more thru their mouth, than their nose, as well as drink water, etc. I don't think this woman really meant any harm to her dog...but willing to bet, with court costs, etc..it won't happen again.

  • Robin Cubbon Dec 4, 2015
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    the difference between a muzzle and tape is in the humaneness. a muzzle is basically bite prevention not to stop barking [which is why she used the tape]. the muzzle will still allow the dog to drink water and not impede breathing. the tape won't allow any of that plus can cut off circulation and cause other damage. plus it was too tight. working in the shelter fits the crime. she will be exposed to all sorts of issues that have to do with abuse and she will gain a new level of awareness; it will make her think about it. picking up trash won't do that. her dogs are microchipped, vaccinated, healthy and well cared for according to what i've read. i am guessing she had a giant moment of stupidity that she will pay dearly for. people will be horrible to her and she will never be forgiven. i do wish i could stop seeing that picture; its everywhere.

  • Jay Bettis Dec 4, 2015
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    POLLYE PRUITT is correct!

  • Laura Wood Dec 4, 2015
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    Let me tape that snout of hers.

  • Mark Colyer Dec 4, 2015
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    Hopefully the animals at the shelter won't recognize her...

  • Pollye Pruitt Dec 4, 2015
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    Let me begin by writing that I love dogs and have owned dogs, that have/are given excellent care, all my adult life. Having said that, the only difference in using a muzzle and duct tape is that the duct tape, had it been left on for any length of time, could have caused great harm to the dog's skin. News reports indicate the dog was not harmed. Therefore, I ask: Is using a muzzle abusive? Is it the act itself, use of the duct tape, or posting it on social media the problem here?

  • Anne Havisham Dec 4, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    While it can be hoped that she'll learn a little compassion in her community service, I, too, hesitate to celebrate this decision.

  • Seth Roberts Dec 4, 2015
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    View quoted thread


  • Susan Harward Dec 4, 2015
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    I don't agree with having a person that abuses an animal spend time working in an animal shelter. Let them pick up trash off the side of the road but the animals in shelters deserve people that truly care about them to be around them.