CARY, N.C. — A woman who posted a photo of her chocolate Labrador-mix with its mouth duct taped shut to her Facebook page has been located and charged with Class 1 Misdemeanor Cruelty to Animals.
On Friday November 27, a woman named Katie Brown posted the photo to her Facebook page with the caption, “This is what happens when you dont shut up!!!” A second post said, “Dont panic everyone it was only for a minute but hasnt barked since… POINT MADE!!!”
By Sunday, the photograph had been shared over 400,000 times from people around the world who called for action to be taken against her.
Police in Avon, Conn., and South Daytona, Fla., received hundreds of phone calls. At the time it wasn’t clear where she was located. South Daytona police determined Katie Brown’s name is Katherine Lemansky. They contacted her son and were able to track her down at a home in Cary, North Carolina where she admitted to duct taping the dog’s mouth.
Cary Police Captain Randall Rhyne released a statement following the arrest: “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. 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.” Lemansky is due to appear in court on December 14. The charge carries a fine and up to 150 days in jail.