CARY, N.C., Dec. 1 (UPI) — The woman who posted a photo of her dog with its mouth duct-taped shut has been charged with animal cruelty, police said.
After a three-state search, North Carolina police charged Katharine F. Lemansky, 44, with animal cruelty. On Friday, Lemansky, posting as “Katie Brown” posted a photo of a chocolate lab with duct tape wrapped around its mouth and the caption, “This is what happens when you dont (sic) shut up!!!”
The photo quickly went viral and sparked outrage. She responded, “Dont (sic) panic everyone it was only for a minute but hasnt (sic) barked since… POINT MADE!!!”
Lemansky took the posting down on Sunday.
On her page, Lemansky listed her hometown as South Daytona. The Florida city’s Facebook page and email were besieged with 19,000 comments and 600 messages. “The City brought in extra resources to handle the high volume of calls to the police station,” South Daytona police said.
Police said because Lemansky owns property in Florida and Connecticut, it made it more difficult to track down Lemansky’s whereabouts. Torrington, Connecticut had a similar influx of messages.
But police in Cary, North Carolina found Lemansky, where she admitted to the incident.
“Taping the dog’s muzzle shut was a terrible decision on Ms. Lemansky’s part,” Cary Police Captain Randall Rhyne said in a news release. “Charging her with animal cruelty under North Carolina law was the right thing to do.”
However, the chocolate lab known as “Brown” as well as another dog will stay with Lemansky, Rhyne said.
“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,” Rhyne said. “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.”