Alex Callen, 19, was charged with felony torture of an animal after her puppy, Shadow, suffered severe injuries when Callen tied its mouth shut for a period of two weeks. While Callen claims the puppy’s snout was only tied shut for two days, veterinarians disagree. Shadow will need $2,000 of reconstructive surgery to repair the damage.
Shadow’s injuries were discovered by Celestial Zoo after Callen wrote a post trying to rehome the puppy. Callen stated that she couldn’t afford the dog’s treatment. In the post, Shadow’s damaged snout is visible in a picture, and the puppy was in a cage and appeared to be wet.
“My puppy got hurt badly and I don’t have the expenses to pay for her to go to the vet to get stitches, so I’m here to rehome her,” said Callen in her post.
Callen, a resident of Murray, Utah, initially blamed Shadow’s injuries on a dog sitter, according to a report by the Daily Mail. She later confessed that she tied the puppy’s mouth shut with a hair tie, though claimed that it had only been for two days.
Shadow, a Labrador-German shepherd mix, was examined by veterinarians at the West Jordan Animal Shelter, who asserted that the puppy’s mouth was likely tied shut for a period of two weeks.
In order to repair the damage, ensuring Shadow can eat and drink properly, $2,000 in reconstructive surgery will be necessary.
The left side of Shadow’s snout was sliced, exposing the inside of her mouth even when the puppy has her mouth closed.
“The left side has already separated and will need surgery,” said the rescue group. “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. She’ll need to be seen again in a few days and then we’ll see what we need to do for surgery.”
Celestial Zoo shared details about Callen’s arrest last Tuesday.
“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,” said Celestial Zoo.
“We are thrilled at the quick action and hope that justice is found. She still has a long road and surgeries ahead of her, but she’s expected to make a full recovery.”