It was a passerby who saved Daisy, a passerby who saw something awful in someone’s backyard in Gig Harbor, Washington, and called police. The witness, who is unnamed, told authorities he saw a dog with her snout taped shut, her front legs taped together, and the dog “was foaming at the mouth,” according to court records.
Foaming at the mouth is a sign of heatstroke.
When police arrived, they found the two-year-old Doberman Pinscher was indeed taped up, with duct tape around her paws and “wrapped several times” around her snout, according to the News Tribune. And the dog was lying still, not moving, in direct sunlight on a hot day.
Paul Sweeney, 57, who owns the home, told the police he taped up the dog, named Daisy, to keep her from barking and from digging in the yard. In front of the police, he called to his dog, and she “moved slowly and struggled to get up,” according to Komo News. The police made Sweeney remove the tape; Daisy whimpered as he did so. Then they arrested him.
The animal control officer asked Sweeney how long the dog had been taped up. Four hours, Sweeney said. He said he’d taped Daisy up a few times in the past. It was a hot day — temps were in the mid-70s — and the dog was left outside in the full sun.
Prosecutors charged Sweeney with felony animal cruelty. Pierce County Animal Control took the dog, where she recovered fully after receiving water and resting in an air-conditioned room.
One person who can’t understand what all the fuss is about is the owner of the dog — Paul Sweeney’s son, Zak. Zak thinks his father is a good man. Zak thinks everything is just fine.
“There’s nothing wrong with the dog,” said Zak Sweeney, 23. “The dog was fine.”
He says that his backyard does have shade, and he told the News Tribune that he could “find no evidence Daisy was hurt.”
“There was no hair missing from my dog’s face,” he said.
Further, he says that his dog chews off store-bought muzzles, implying that the duct tape was somehow appropriate. Reached by phone by the New Tribune, the elder Sweeney called the charge against him “so wrong” and has hired a lawyer.
It looks like Daisy got out of that house in the nick of time. Let’s hope she’s adopted into a good home, far from boneheads like this father and son.