CARY, N.C. (CBSMiami) — A woman with ties to Florida has now been charged with animal cruelty after she posted a picture of her chocolate lab-mix with its mouth taped shut with duct tape on social media.
Police in North Carolina charged Katharine Lemansky, whose Facebook page lists her name as Katie Brown, with one count of Misdemeanor Cruelty to Animals after admitting the incident took place in Cary, a town just west of Raleigh.
The caption on the photo read, “This is what happens when you don’t shut up!!”
She later posted on Facebook that the dog’s mouth was only taped for a minute.
“Taping the dog’s muzzle shut was a terrible decision on Ms. Lemansky’s part, and charging her with animal cruelty under North Carolina law was the right thing to do,” said Cary Police Captain Randall Rhyne. “At the same time, it’s important to also note that our animal control officers who physically examined both Brown and her littermate found the dogs to be very well cared for, which is why we did not and could not remove them from the owner. The dogs are current on their shots, spayed, and microchipped. They are clean and well-nourished and appear to be comfortable in their surroundings. And there were no signs of injury to Brown’s muzzle, not even detectable hair loss.”
She faces a fine and a possible jail sentence of up to 150 days.
The photo went viral and sparked public outrage after the picture appeared on Friday, November 27th. It resulted in hundreds of calls, Facebook messages and emails to the South Daytona Police Department from places as far away as Australia, causing the department’s email server and computers to crash.
The Facebook page said she lived in South Daytona, but officials said she hadn’t lived there in more than a year.