A Utah woman has been charged with animal torture for using a hair tie to clamp shut her 3-month-old puppy’s mouth to prevent her from barking, according to reports.
Alexis Marie Callen, 19, of Murray, was charged with torturing a companion animal, a felony, after a rescue group that saw horrifying images of the pup, named Shadow, on social media took her to an animal hospital, the Gephardt Daily reported.
Callen “admitted that she intentionally and knowingly had placed her elastic hair tie around the dog’s snout for a period of 48 hours in hopes to keep the dog quiet from excessive whining,” according to a police probable cause statement.
A veterinarian determined that the poor pup was actually tied up for as long as two weeks based on the severity of her injuries, KSTU reported.
“Alexis had sole custody of the companion animal,” the statement continued. “Alexis acted in a heinous and cruel manner by inflicting an extreme amount of physical pain to the 3-month-old companion animal (black Labrador mix type dog). Alexis denied the dog essential care by refusing to seek veterinarian care.”
Shadow was severely disfigured in the nose and mouth and needs a $2,000 surgery, according to her veterinarian, Fox 13 reported.
“Left side [of her nose], it’s completely open even with her mouth closed,” Shadow’s new foster mom Caylla Facemyer told the station. “You can see into her mouth. It’s pretty bad.”
Callen was slapped with the animal-cruelty charge after a welfare check on her 7-month-old child with Matthew Lloyd, 20, the Gephardt Daily reported. Officials said the infant appeared to be malnourished.
The apartment was judged to be dirty, and to smell of marijuana.
Callen and Lloyd, both of whom admitted to smoking marijuana in the dirty apartment in the presence of their baby was present, face charges of child endangerment, a felony, and misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and use of possession of drug paraphernalia.
“A few feet away from the baby was marijuana and various accouterments of drug paraphernalia,” the probably cause statement statement says.
Callen also was arrested on April 23 on separate child endangerment and drug charges. That case has not yet gone before a judge.
Celestial Zoo, the rescue agency, is asking anyone who would like to donate money for Shadow’s surgery to call Blue Pearl Pet Hospital in Midvale at 801-871-0600 and request the Celestial Zoo Shadow fund.
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