Woman Who Duct Taped Dog's Mouth Found Guilty
CARY, North Carolina – A woman who posted a picture of her chocolate lab-mix with its mouth taped shut on her Facebook page with the caption ‘This is what happens when you dont shut up!!!’ was convicted of animal cruelty in North Carolina on Friday.
Police in Cary, North Carolina charged 45-year-old Katharine F. Lemansky, whose Facebook page lists her name as Katie Brown, with one count of Class 1 Misdemeanor Cruelty to Animals after police said that she admitted the incident took place in Cary.
Although the charge carries a fine and possibly up to 150 days in jail, Lemansky was sentenced to a year of probation which was suspended by the Wake County Court.
Police departments in three states worked together to determine jurisdiction after the photo went viral last year on social media over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend which sparked a flood of phone calls to several different police departments where the woman was believed to be located.
Because the city listed on Lemansky’s Facebook page was South Daytona, Florida, police in that city were the first to investigate the incident. Their investigation was able to confirm with one of Brown’s family members that she had not lived in South Daytona for about one-and-a-half years, even though her Facebook account still showed the South Daytona location.
During the initial investigation, South Daytona police at first believed that she lived in Avon, Connecticut. However, South Daytona police later learned that Lemansky was possibly in North Carolina and contacted Cary police. Within an hour of being contacted, Cary Police sent Animal Control officers to investigate Lemansky. She was then tracked to Churchview Street in Cary where she was located and charged.
“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 litter-mate 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 [the dog’s] muzzle, not even detectable hair loss.”
- Brevard County Public Schools