ARL Rescues Dogs With Scarring From Owner Tying Their Mouths Shut

posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 in News

Maddy Beau12/10/18 UPDATE: We’re excited to announce that Maddy & Beau were ADOPTED this weekend! These sweet dogs came to us with raw, scarred muzzles from having their mouths repeatedly bound shut (their former owner pleaded guilty to animal neglect). While their emotional wounds ran even deeper, they had been making steady progress in our care, and we're thrilled that they now have the loving home they've always deserved! Congrats to these sweet dogs and their new family!

11/07/18 UPDATE: Elisa Andres has pleaded guilty to 2 counts of animal neglect and has been sentenced to just two years of probation and $190 total in fines/court costs for admittedly wrapping her 2 dogs’ muzzles, causing deep indentations, abrasions, and scarring. Case # on Iowa Courts Online: 05771.

Maddy & Beau are still available for adoption and will be adopted together through our Bonded Buddy program. New photos (attached) show 2 much happier dogs than the fearful and trembling dogs who arrived in our care. To learn more about adopting these 2, visit their pet profiles here.

Iowa currently ranks 49th in the country for animal welfare laws. To learn more about how to help change this, join the ARL’s Humane Action Network at

10/19/18 UPDATE: Maddy & Beau will be available for adoption starting today, by appointment. The ARL behavior team will meet with potential adopters to help guide them through the next steps of Maddy & Beau’s recovery journey in an in-home environment. Maddy & Beau are “Bonded Buddies” and will be adopted as a pair since they depend on each other for comfort. The third dog, a puppy who did not appear to be injured, remains in a foster home until ready for adoption. Elisa Andres, who has been charged with animal neglect in this case, will appear in court on November 8.

Animal neglect, a simple misdemeanor, is the strongest possible charge in this case due to Iowa’s current laws and Iowa currently ranks 49th in the country for animal welfare laws. To learn more about how to help change this, join the ARL’s Humane Action Network at

BeauORIGINAL POST 10/10/18:
Three dogs were stuffed into a banged up wire crate when they arrived at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL). One of the dogs was an 11-week-old puppy, and the other two dogs were adults with deep indentations, abrasions, and scarring around their muzzles and jaws. Something had been tied so tightly around their muzzles that it had cut into the skin. Upon further inspection of their kennel, ARL officials discovered two thin, black bungee cords that were an exact match to the indentations on the dogs’ muzzles.

ARL investigators tracked down the owner of the dogs, who lived in Ankeny. Working with Ankeny Police, they learned that the person had been given a deadline to get rid of her dogs because of multiple complaints of barking.

Maddy“That had apparently been the owner’s solution to the noise complaints: To wind bungee cords so tightly around the dogs’ muzzles that they couldn’t open their mouths. From the look of the marks, this was not a one-time thing - these dogs had been bound multiple times and for extended periods of time. This is one of those stories that just hurts your heart.” said Tom Colvin, CEO for the ARL. “The dogs are now safe and are still fearful of people, but we are helping them learn to trust again.”

Ankeny authorities have now charged the owner with animal neglect. The ARL has named the 2 injured dogs Maddy and Beau. Both dogs are extremely fearful and are currently being treated under the supervision of our veterinary and behavior teams.

Donations to help Maddy and Beau can be made online at (RE: Maddy & Beau) or in person/by mail at 5452 NE 22nd St, Des Moines, IA, 50313.