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Puppy recovering after being found with mouth taped shut in Estero

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Posted at 9:18 AM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 09:25:39-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — A 9-week-old Great Pyrenees is recovering at the Lee County Domestic Animal Services after someone witnessed the puppy inside of a vehicle in distress on April 14th.

The puppy was halfway hanging out of a window, with his mouth taped shut.

While on the scene, deputies located the puppy in a Blue Hyundai SUV in the parking lot of Walmart on South Tamiami Trail in Estero, Florida.

There was also another dog located inside of the vehicle.

Deputies discovered the suspects taped and tightly wrapped a training lead around the puppy’s snout to prevent the puppy from nipping them.

Deputies were able to make contact with the suspects and dog’s owners, later identified as Jaelen Anthony Barge, 20, and Allison Marie Sweck, 18.

While investigating, detectives learned the proper use of the training leads the suspects utilized is to provide gentle control to help keep a dog from pulling during walks, not to be used as a muzzle.

It was also discovered the puppies were left alone without accessible food or water.

Both Barge and Sweck were arrested and booked at the Lee County Jail, charged with one count each of Aggravated Animal Cruelty and one count of Animal Cruelty.