2 suspects accused of taping puppy’s mouth shut, abandoning another dog

Published: April 14, 2021 5:31 PM EDT
Updated: April 14, 2021 10:51 PM EDT

Two suspects were arrested for taping a puppy’s mouth shut and abandoning a second dog.

According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, 20-year-old Jaelen Anthony Barge and Allison Marie Sweck, 18, were arrested after a 9-week-old Great Pyrenees was found hanging out of a vehicle with its mouth taped shut in a Walmart parking lot in Estero.

Two people were arrested for wrapping up a puppy’s snout with a leash. (CREDIT: Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

A second dog was also found in the vehicle.

LCSO said deputies discovered Barge and Sweck tightly wrapped a training lead around the puppy’s snout to prevent the puppy from nipping them.

The lead, the sheriff’s office said, is to keep a dog from pulling during walks, not to be used as a muzzle.

Investigators say the original witness was a man waiting for his wife n the Walmart parking lot when he notice the puppy sticking its head out of the car window. The man said the electrical tape on the puppy’s snout was so tight he could see mucus coming out of the dog’s nose and mouth. Another witness brought a cup of water to the puppy annd the other dog in the vehicle.

While the witnesses were trying to the help the two dogs, investigators say Sweck approached them and told them to get away from her dog.

A community member we spoke to was happy to hear there were good Samaritans who tried to help the helpless pups.

“Personally, myself, I’d probably try to break the window or try opening the door to try to see if I can get the animal out,” Jeremy D’Agostino said. “If not, call the cops, so maybe they can do it. Yeah, I would just do something to try helping that animal out if they’re in distress.”

Barge and Sweck both face charges for one count of animal cruelty.

The puppy with its mouth taped is now at Lee County Domestic Animal Services.