Facebook photo of dog with duct-taped mouth sparks investigation

A Facebook photo of a dog with its mouth sealed with duct tape sparked an animal cruelty investigation. 

Bob Leverone/The Humane Society of the United States via AP
Lee County Animal Shelter worker, Stephaney Feeney, comforts Ace, a dog waiting to be rescued by The Humane Society of the United States in Bishopville, S.C., after he was found homeless because of strong storms from Hurricane Joaquin in the Midlands of S.C., on Oct. 6, 2015.

Police and animal control in South Daytona have opened an animal cruelty investigation after a woman taped her dog's mouth shut to keep it from barking.

Katie Brown of South Daytona, Florida, took a picture of her dog with silver duct tape taped all around her muzzle, and posted it on Facebook with the caption 'This is what happens when you don’t shut up!!!'

The photo has since been shared over 233, 634 times since it was posted Friday morning and has generated dozens of negative comments – and phone calls to police from as far away as Australia.

The pictures were reported and investigators went to Brown’s home to check on the animal.

South Daytona Lt. Daniel Dietrich said officers spoke to the woman’s son, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

"He said the dogs are in good health and cared for," Dietrich said. "We will follow up when she returns."

The user, who has not been criminally charged at this time, made a follow-up comment through Facebook and said:  “Don't panic everyone it was only for a minute but hasn't barked since... POINT MADE!!!”

On Saturday the City of South Daytona said on its Facebook page, "Police have determined that this person was out of state for the holiday weekend. It appears that the photo was taken at that location. We have information to indicate that the dog is OK at this time. However, the police will be contacting this person once she returns to our City. Rest assured that a full investigation will be done and appropriate action will be taken. Again, thank you for the outpouring of concern and sharing of information."

Some Facebook users reported the image of the dog with duct tape around its mouth to Facebook but it didn’t violate any Facebook rules, according to Facebook.  

The incident comes just months after a 15-month-old dog was found in Charleston, S.C., with electrical tape wound around her muzzle.

The tape was so tight, that Caityln's tongue was caught between her teeth, stopping blood flow to her tongue," the Charleston Animal Society wrote on its Facebook page.

Meanwhile, on Friday, hundreds of animal shelter began offering free pet adoptions on Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

In Los Angeles, all city animal shelters waived all fees including spaying or neutering, vaccinations and microchipping, courtesy of Zappos.com.

"You cannot put a price on love and during this free adoption promotion, you don't have to," Louis Dedeauz, director of shelter operations, said. "Our adoption team will be thrilled to match you up with the pet of your dreams."

The free pet deal, aims to promote adoptions of kittens, cats, dogs, and other companion animals, during the holiday season.

"Having the community that supports us and is interested in program like that really helps us achieve our goal of saving as many lives as we can," Kennel Manager Williamson County, Texas, Joel Hess told ABC affiliate KVUE.

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