Duct Tape Dog: Guilty Owner Claims She Is A Good Person

December 7, 2015 | By Garrett Montgomery More

A so-called “duct tape” dog joke led to a guilty verdict – it is safe to say the cruel dog owner is no longer laughing. Kimberly Ann Howell, the woman, who shared three pictures of her dog, Leah, with her mouth shut with duct tape, was sentenced by a North Carolina judge to 45 days of suspended sentence, 18 months of probation, and she must complete 36 hours of community service.

duct tape dog

Kimberly Ann Howell is guilty and cruel for shutting her dog’s mouth with duct tape, according to a North Carolina judge. On Thursday, Howell stood in front of Judge Kevin Eddinger, who threw the book at her for the “callous act” she committed against her young mixed breed dog, named Leah.

Howell, who used duct tape to shut the dog’s mouth, and had the “brilliant” idea to share the pictures of her stupid prank on Facebook, was declared guilty on charges of animal cruelty and failure to appear for outstanding traffic charges. Her punishment?

Howell was given 45 days suspended sentence – which means that while she was convicted of the crimes, she will not have to serve that sentence immediately and may never have to serve it at all if she respects the conditions put in place by the judge.

The so-called animal lover, who was out of jail on $3,000 bond, will be on probation for 18 months and has been assigned to 36 hours of community service. The dog owner, who had plans to appeal the ruling, changed her mind and has accepted her fate, and she has even requested to work at Animal Control for 18 months.

Leah’s owner became infamous in early October after she took to Facebook and shared the much talked about prank photos. The mother of one uploaded three pictures of her dog with her mouth duct taped and revealed that it was funny to see the animal go through that predicament. In one picture, she used the caption “LOL” while in an another she explained why she felt compel to use the tape. She wrote:

“I warned her. I told her I was going to teach her not to bite the baby again even play biting.”

Someone, who saw the pictures and recognized Howell, contacted the authorities and she was arrested. Howell told investigators that she did it because her dog was barking and had tried to bite her seven-month-old daughter. She went on to explain the animal was not hurt because after five minutes she had managed to remove the tape on her own. She said:

“It didn’t hurt her, she just didn’t like it, it was not a big deal, the dog was not physically hurt.”

Detective R.C. Barkley told the judge that while he was interrogating Howell and her boyfriend, John, they both said they decided to put the duct tape on the dog’s mouth because “it would be funny.” In court, Howell told the judge that she loved the dog as much as she loved her own child and when asked if she would do the same to her baby – she declined to reply.

After the pictures had gone viral, Howell returned to Facebook where she got into several fights with people, who slammed her for abusing the dog. She blasted one commentator by saying:

“Wow ok maybe I should of said I was joking when posting that. But honestly though people would know better anyone who spend 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 [was] skin and bones how ) that animal abusee.”

She later returned to the site with a lengthy post to lament the fact that she is a good person, who made a mistake. She also shared that since that day she found the dog locked up in a cage, she has cared and loved her. She also made it clear that she is not an animal abuser, and she is just a silly woman with a weird sense of humor. Her post read:

“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.”

It continued:

“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’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. 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.”

Howell’s boyfriend came to her defense by blaming the Internet for taking an innocent joke and turning it into a crime. He wrote on Facebook:

“The dog is in perfect health, I mean there’s nothing, as you can see she’s far from abused, I’m an avid animal lover and I’ve had 10-12 rescue dogs over the last couple years. There was a lot of backlash out of this, people took it out of context, I mean it was a bad decision on her part, she shouldn’t have posted it, the tape wasn’t on.”

Earlier this month, another North Carolina woman named Katharine F. Lemansky also posted photos showing her chocolate lab-mix dog’s mouth duct taped shut, and she too has been charged with animal cruelty. Lemansky faces a fine and a possible jail sentence of up to 150 days.

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    1. Lauri Rice says:

      Katharine F. Lemansky,
      You are a very mean person, without a care in world for any animal. He should be taken away from you, and you should be in jail. Better yet prison. I can’t think of a punishment bad enough for doing that to an animal. Where is your mind at? A huge fine should also be imposed. I think We should tape your mouth shut and then see just how much you like it:) LOLLOLLOLLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is such a beutiful dog and I would be more that glad to take Him off your hands. You make me sick to my stomach for posting that awful diplay of your cruelty. I think Facebook needs to remove your post off line!!!!!!!!!!! You are a very shallow person, and I have a hard time calling you a person. You are a monster. God put animals on Earth for us to enjoy, bring happiness and love into our lives. Just don’t forget, You shall reep what you sow. Don’t forget about Karma too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Feel free to respond to My comments. Your one I wouldn’t mind going a round or teo with, but of course your mounth would have to be taped shut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • LHenley says:

        Give it a rest already. I personally don’t think it was cruel. A dog that will bite a baby deserves a bullet, not duct tape. I’ve dealt with a dog mauling so I have no sympathy for biters.

        • Susan says:

          Maybe the parent should supervise when a dog is around the baby so the baby doesn’t pull on the dog? A bullet for doing what a dog does? No, YOU need a bullet.

          • Roy says:

            Pretty sure cunts like you need a bullet Susan.

            • Eye Concur says:

              Just because I’m irritated by the PC Police going ape sh8t over the duct tape I’m going to duct tape my dogs muzzle today and laugh while he runs around trying to remove it. As for that Gash Susan, she needs some tape too.

        • JeffP says:

          FINALLY a response that makes sense. I don’t believe she’s an animal abuser. People often ignore real problems with humans and diseases. How many of you people don’t think twice about children with life threatening illnesses and don’t do anything to help but when a dog or other animal is brought up you all rise up? This woman was also protecting a baby and the dog wasn’t even harmed in those few minutes. That’s not abuse. I’ve personally witnessed a dog wrap its whole jaw around my infants head and I could have easily snapped and killed the thing.

        • skybleu says:

          she did not say it bit the baby she said they were playing biting face which i assume she allowed the dog and baby to do.

          and just by the little you wrote and can feel why you are not liked by dogs who are some of the best judges of humans

        • skybleu says:

          as i have said when this first came out. yes it was wrong, and thou this of course is not one of them. people have to get a life and start using your hate to help the horrible things that are happening to animals. ex: the 100 are more pups that were just saved in a puppy mill in florida. or when was the last time you donated a buck or more to your local non kill shelters who so badly need your help not only this time of year but all year round. send some treats, a nice clean used fluffy or two, etc. all these things are so needed
          watch the love of a dog bred for fighting when rescued just licked everyone and watch the tail.
          now about this woman, she did a dumb thing, and i don’t think she has any idea that a dog needs it mouth open to breath and fighting to take that tape off for over 5 minutes. was really STUPID. HAVE SOME ONE put a pillow over her mouth for a minute and feel the panic that her dog went thru. the dog is in no way afraid of her which shows their is love there

      • Clark says:

        You’re a fu**ing retarded dumb ass moron.

    2. JANE says:

      you say you are a animal lover, and you rescue animals …but the treatment that you inflected to your dog was cruel if not to you but to her. How would you feel if you were ducked taped, but oh…you can use your fingers to remove the duct tape what about your dog? She had no way to remove the duct tape.

      If she is part of your family I hate to see how you treat others in your family.

    3. Steve says:

      She should have her mouth duct taped shut

    4. Art says:

      Tape her mouth shut and never allow her to own another pet.

    5. E. T. Ashley says:

      May the community service be in public with duct tape around mouth and head, and with hands taped so she would be as helpless as the dog to remove it. Maybe then she would understand. She would not be “physically hurt.”

    6. lora klimkiewicz says:

      Tape their mouth shut! Anyone who abuses an animal WILL abuse a child!!!

    7. David says:

      Theres no excuse for abusing animals period!!

    8. Larry says:

      TOO Lenient, she should have got at least 30 Days in JAIL and a $500.00 Fine that is how you teach people to NOT ABUSE THEIR ANIMALS …….. So what now she will do it again and just not put it on the internet because the Judge just slapped her on her LITTLE ASS and sent her home this is not the massage our Courts need to be sending out to these kind of Freaking LOSERS Put their asses in JAIL and they will not do it again or send them back for some more just as if it were a CHILD NOW WHAT ABOUT THAT ??????????? The dog can be TRAINED !!!! Not TO BITE SIMPLE AS THAT WIYTOUT THE USE OF DUCT TAPE ON OR WRAPPED AROUND ITS MOUTH DANG IT!!!! ANY MORE ???’sss

    9. Michael Brooks says:

      People put dogs in muzzles all the time, how is that any different what she did? Dogs keep their mouths closed for major parts of the day unless they’re exerting themselves And people put metal bits in horses mouths and I’ve seen alligator catchers do the same thing with duct tape. Just a harmless prank that wasn’t too thought out. I think the people who responded so verminously may be in need of some counseling and anger management. We’re still witch hunting, no?

      • Barbara says:

        Muzzles do not keep the mouth closed. They are not that restrictive. They are there for aggressive dogs that bite. Not for bark control. Muzzles are not taped to the skin, tightly, and do not interfere with breathing. There is a big difference.

      • Diane says:

        Um, because a muzzle doesn’t rip the fur off the animal when it’s removed. Common sense anyone?

      • Susan says:


    10. Michael Brooks says:

      How long did this so called prank last? Didn’t someone say it was 5 minutes? I wonder how many of these so called caring animal lovers are donating to hungry children around the world taking all things in perspective.

    11. David Jones says:

      You’re hillarious. What a riot to tape an animal’s mouth shut. I bet you’re great at parties.

      Next time tape your own mouth shut for kicks and giggles. IDIOT and animal abuser.

      • Mark says:

        She should have gotten 375 years in prison and a $5 million fine. See how much she would have been laughing then.

    12. howard says:

      she is a bitch and should of got some jail and not be able to have animals

    13. Johnny says:

      *** her ass !!!!

    14. SonyaCH says:

      “Detective RC BARKLEY”, this woman was clearly set up.

    15. Susan says:

      What bothers me is her boyfriend saying he’s HAD at least 10-12 rescue dogs over the last couple years. Where did they go?

    16. Les says:

      Is anyone forgetting THIS CRAZY WOMAN HAS A CHILD!!!!!!!!! Wonder what she does to the baby when the baby won’t stop crying???? The fact that she even thought ANYONE would think that was funny. This woman is living in crazy town and has NO business caring for anything alive. WE DON’T need to know you to say these things…if you don’t want people judging you then DON’T put your everything that comes into that IDIOTIC BRAIN of yours on the internet for the WHOLE WORLD TO SEE!!!!!!!!!!!

    17. Bob says:

      If the dog is that aggressive towards a child get rid of the dog don’t duct tape the mouth. A good person would know how to properly treat an animal. She claims it was a joke what is she going to do when the child cries duct tape her too? She deserved a stiffer sentence. I wouldn’t allow her to own a dog again and I hope she gets bit at the shelter she deserves it!

    18. Mike Stone says:

      Form a circle with the owner of the dog, each of you can call to the dog and lets find out which one of you the dog has affection for and comes to? I am going to bet heavily that it is the owner and not you.

      There has not been any evidence that the dog was harmed having a makeshift mussel placed on it for sixty seconds.

      The owner received cruel and unusual punishment and you all are the court clowns

    19. Lee says:

      **** the bitch she’s trash – looks like trash too

    20. Liz says:

      I feel so sorry for any dog or cat that have to live with small kids Kids more often hurt the animal and that’s the excuse for abusers to turn story around of how devil spawn was bit so now parents can abuse pet!

    21. Karl says:

      To quote a great line from the movie Stripes: “Lighten up…….Francis.”

    22. Wayne says:

      What is this this worlds coming to? We have human babies being murdered in the womb on a daily basis — those who can feel pain by a legal organization with a nice name “planned parenthood”. I guess since that’s legal it’s OK. We have terrorists planning to kill us, the economy in in the toilet and we spend time and money prosecuting a woman who didn’t even cause her dog any harm? Perhaps we will prosecute her again when that dog actually kills her baby, but not because of the baby’s death, but because it’s not healthy for the dog to eat a baby.

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