Watch live: ‘Everyday’
🌀 Track Hurricane Maria: Interactive Map

Man charged with animal cruelty after dog found with snout taped shut

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- A Westminster man was charged with animal cruelty after someone found his dog with electrical tape wrapped around his snout. Dr. Joerg Skomrock spotted the dog on Wednesday morning.

“I gave him a closer look and noticed something shiny on his mouth,” Dr. Skomrock said.

The Australian Shepherd was standing outside the Clear Creek Care Center on West 75th Avenue and Knox Place. “I noticed that it’s not a guard. It’s tape. It’s black electrical tape,” he said.

“Parts of the mouth were swollen, cut by tape,” he said. He cut the tape and got the dog water. “He drank two buckets full of water,” said Dr. Skomrock.

Westminster Animal Control picked up the dog and police started investigating until they got an interesting phone call on Thursday. “He just called in looking for his lost dog. ‘I'm missing my dog,’ he said, 'Have you found my dog?’” said Cheri Spottke with The Westminster Police Department.

Investigators said when 22-year-old Keenan Starbuck went to talk to them, he admitted to putting the tape on the dog.

"He was charged with animal cruelty, neglect of animals and dogs at large," said Spottke.

It's unclear how the dog got out or how long he was roaming the streets. “It had been a while for it to be that dehydrated though," she said.

Police said Starbuck gave up custody of the dog. Dr. Skomrock is relieved and hopes the dog can go to a loving home.

“That’s not a way to treat an animal,” he said. “I think he’s better off without his owner.”

The staff at The Foothills Animal Shelter was caring for the dog and they said he was doing fine. The dog could be available for adoption in the next few days.