(Rowan County Sheriff's Office)
SALISBURY, N.C. -- A 25-year-old Salisbury woman has been charged with cruelty to animals after authorities say she taped her dog's mouth shut to prevent the dog from barking, according to the Rowan County Sheriff's Office.
She then took photographs of the dog and posted them to Facebook, with the caption "Ha ha."
Kimberly Ann Howell is out of jail on $3,000 bond.
Someone saw the pictures and reported them to the Rowan Sheriff's Office.
Howell told authorities that she removed the tape immediately after posting the pictures.
Howell has since posted to her Facebook page:
"Wow ok maybe I should of said I was joking when posting that. But honestly though people would know better anyone who spend (sic) a week at my house would see how spoiled and loved my dog is. Anyways guess I really didn't think through but anyone who knows me knows when I got Leah she skin and bones how (sic) that animal abusee (sic)."
"I have made my mistakes in life too and believe me either I've paid for them or am still paying for them. But to call me an animal abuser or child abuser that's so not true."
On Wednesday, she posted a long post about the incident (post has since been deleted):
Ok here goes nothing ... I'm the type of person who would give someone the shirt off my back if needed help a stranger or animal anytime ... I stopped in the middle of the road one day and got a turtle out of the middle of the road that was crossing and brought him home for Emmy to see and then let him go at the lake ... But just so he didn't get ran over ... I have made my mistakes in life too and believe me either I've paid for them or am still paying for them ... But to call me an animal abuser or child abuser that's so not true ... And yes I missed court Friday and new I had a warrant when I realized and have been trying to turn myself in ever since Friday afternoon but they told me to come back Monday and then the officer Monday said to meet him back up there at three Tuesday and so I did and I have to say he was really nice and respectful and new what I was charged with was speeding ticket driving without license wasn't a big deal ... It still was a big mistake forgetting because it money from my kids that could have been spent on them... Lesson learned and lesson learned that people are going to assume what thy want about you. Even if they have never met you! Anyone who knows me knows I am a nice and very forgiving person so to all th people saying things about me and u don't even know me I forgive ... I catch myself judging people too and have to smack mysel because it's not ok... But for once in my life I'm happy ... Happy with where my life's going and with my kids and fiancé ... I want to go back to school soon also when I can find help with Emmy ... I'm just almost at the point in tears that people are so mean ... And I respect that people are serious about animal abuse they should be but I would never abuse my dog sad part is people who have never met us are saying different but my dog as happy and playful as can be always jumping on me and wagging her tail knows different and she has nothing to fear ... She's chewed up two do Emmys toys today and I haven't even got on to her I told Emmy we have to stop leaving them in the floor if she doesn't want them to get chewed up because the dog doesn't know better ... Lesson learned though because I never dreamed human beings could be so cruel and put people they have never met down ... My dog is past the point of thinking she is a dog though she goes outside to excessive and use the bathroom that's it other then that she stays inside with us following all day long she refuses to be left out and makes it a point that she should be apart of every moment of everyday if it's just eating lunch or dinner or taking a nap on the bed with us ... When I first seen this dog she was in a cage thumpin her tail as loud as could be she wanted out ... So I told her that I would be back to get her and give her a good home and I kept my word and she's been happy every since ... Anyone who comes to my home would see this for them selfs that's why I'm not worried I've never abused her ... But to put stuff out like whoever has its disgusting that people do this to other people... Everyone has made there mistakes and don't always need them thrown up .. Everyone makes them preachers cops nurses teachers or single struggling moms or dads .. We are all human and no one gives u a hand book about life u learn as u go by making mistakes I'm done though my heart is very big and my family knows it and I'm not a bad person I'm just human and have made mistakes.
In a post on Thursday morning, she again wrote about the incident (post has since been deleted):
Now bum going to have millions of people judging me because who I'm with I get told there is a big age difference there ... Well there is .. But it doesn't matter what color someone is to me how old they are anything as long as they treat me good and my family knows they do so that's all that matters ... I've held back since this started but now I can't hold it anymore and just need cry ... If I abused any animal I would be right there with everyone saying it but I didn't and wasn't my intentions by far it wasn't on her longer then thirty seconds or a minutes if that and that's all people are seeing not the other 23 hours of the day when my dog follows me every step I go even to the bathroom all day ... She jumps on me and hugs me Licks me and wags her tail... Every night she sleeps beside me or my bf snuggled up to us as close as she can.. And obviously people are looking up my stuff and seeing j have a child abuse alagation which I'm hoping will get fixed eventually and someone will realize I wasn't abusing my daughter... I may forget things sometimes and be thoughtless or even stupid if that's what u want to call it but I love my daughter and my dog beyond belief ... And for a single mother with three kids obviously almost every woman knows u go through some kind of depression aftwards and I have .... But here lately I have been nothing but happy and smiling all day because I have just plan out been happy and and happy with my life and family and most important proud of myself for coming along ways ... But it's funny how social media can effect someone's life negatively like this so badly and it's crazy.