Crime

Rowan County woman charged with animal cruelty

A Rowan County woman was jailed on an animal cruelty charge Wednesday after she posted pictures on Facebook showing her dog’s mouth sealed with duct tape.
A Rowan County woman was jailed on an animal cruelty charge Wednesday after she posted pictures on Facebook showing her dog’s mouth sealed with duct tape. Rowan County Sheriff’s Office

A Rowan County woman was jailed on an animal cruelty charge Wednesday after pictures she posted on Facebook showed her dog’s mouth sealed with duct tape, authorities said.

Kimberly Ann Howell, 25, of Salisbury, told a sheriff’s investigator who went to her home Monday that she thought it would be funny to put duct tape around the mouth of her young mixed-breed female dog, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

She told the officer she removed the tape after she took the pictures, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Howell told the officer she immediately began receiving harassing comments via Facebook after she posted the pictures, and so she removed the photos from the site, according to the release.

The investigator went to Howell’s home in the 4600 block of Longs Ferry Road to follow up on a report the office received from the Rowan County Department of Social Services.

Someone complained to DSS about Howell and the pictures because a small child was in one of the photos on Facebook, the Sheriff’s Office said. The caption beneath the photos said, “hah hah,” the complainant told DSS.

Sheriff’s investigators found no injuries or other signs of abuse or neglect on the dog. Howell was allowed to keep the dog, with the understanding that a follow-up visit could take place at any time, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Howell was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty and for failing to appear in court on two older traffic charges. She was jailed on $3,000 bail and must appear in court Nov. 4.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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