Woman Accused of Binding 3-Month-Old Pup’s Mouth for Barking Faces Felony Charges

By Venus Upadhayaya, Epoch Times
June 24, 2019 Updated: June 26, 2019

A 19-year-old woman in Murray who bound her 3-month-old pup’s mouth to keep her from barking faces felony charges for “torturing a companion animal.”

Alexis Marie Callen tortured her dog, Shadow with an elastic hair tie and was charged with a third-degree felony on June 18, reported the Gephardt Daily.

Shadow’s case first came to light in a social media post by a rescue organization. The pup was taken to Cottonwood Animal Hospital and the organization sought a donation for her.

“Urgent donations needed! We just got in this sweet little puppy. At this time we do not know what happened to him but he needs medical attention ASAP,” said a Facebook post by Celestial Zoo.

A picture of Shadow with her injured muzzle. (Pic courtesy Celestial Zoo)

Pictures of the Black Labrador retriever-German shepherd mix showed him to be severely disfigured around the snout.

A Murray Police officer responded to the case and said that Callen admitted to intentionally placing her elastic hair tie around the dog’s snout for 48 hours to keep her quiet.

“Alexis had sole custody of the companion animal,” the police statement said, according to Gephardt Daily.

“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,” it said.

Celestial Zoo confirmed the arrest on its Facebook page. “Shadow had to go back to the vet today for a cone, but even though she is not happy about her cone, she is happy to report that thanks to the quick action of the Murray Animal Control officers, an arrest has been made on felony animal abuse charges. We are thrilled at the quick action and hope that justice is found,” said the post.

The plastic hair tie left a deep wound on Shadow’s muzzle. (Celestial Zoo)

Fox35 reported that Shadow’s injuries are so severe that her surgery will cost $2,000 and the veterinarian says that it will take her two weeks to recover.

“Left side [of her nose], it’s completely open even with her mouth closed,” Caylla Facemyer, Shadow’s new foster owner, said to Fox 13. “You can see into her mouth. It’s pretty bad.”

A veterinarian told the media that the nature of the injuries indicates that Shadow’s snout was tied for more than 48 hours. Celestial Zoo also confirmed it in a Facebook post on June 18.

“The vet looked it over and cleaned it up. Gave her some antibiotics and pain meds. The left side has already separated and will need surgery. The right side may as well. It looks to be a rubber band or hair tie around her muzzle that caused it, left on for a week or two,” wrote Celestial Zoo.

People responding to the rescue agency’s posts on Facebook were in disbelief about the nature and the severity of the abuse.

“How could they do that!?! How did she eat and they didn’t see the pain they caused!?! So beyond upsetting,” wrote Maggie Jensen in response to one of Celestial Zoo’s posts.

In a post on Friday, the rescue agency said that Shadow’s surgery is scheduled to take place in a clinic called Blue Pearl and the surgery will repair the damage to her muzzle.

“It is estimated a 2 week recovery time where she will need to have only soft foods and no chew toys, which is going to be so hard for a puppy! ” said Celestial Zoo.

According to Gephardt Daily, Callen was arrested on an unrelated third-degree felony charge of child endangerment and drug charges on April 23.

The charges said that Callen’s 7-month-old child was small and malnourished and her apartment was dirty and smelled of marijuana.

“A few feet away from the baby was marijuana and various accouterments [sic] of drug paraphernalia,” the statement said, according to Gephardt Daily.

That pending case has yet not gone before a judge.

Follow Venus on Twitter: @venusupadhayaya