SOUTH DAYTONA, Fla. — Police in North Carolina have charged a woman with taping a dog’s muzzle shut and posting the photograph on Facebook.
The woman, Katharine F. Lemansky, 45, was charged in Cary, North Carolina where she was staying, police said Monday. Lemansky admitted to police that the incident took place in Cary.
“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.
Police in South Daytona began investigating the report of animal cruelty after it appeared to be circulating in the form of a disturbing photo on social media over the weekend. The photo, posted to Facebook on Friday, showed the dog, a chocolate lab-mix, with duct tape around its muzzle, with a caption reading: “This is what happens when you don’t shut up!!!”
The photo prompted hundreds of calls and emails to local police from people around the world. By Monday, the photo had apparently been removed from Facebook.
Lemansky listed South Daytona as her home. South Daytona police said Lemansky hasn’t lived there for more than a year.
Investigators said Lemansky was identified on Facebook as Katie Brown, of South Daytona. Lemansky’s family members told police she had gone into hiding somewhere in the Carolinas.
“There were people on Facebook making death threats,” South Daytona Police Chief Ron Wright said.
In another Facebook post, Lemansky claimed the duct tape was only on the dog for 60 seconds.
Lemansky is charged with one count of class 1 misdemeanor cruelty to animals. The charge carries a fine and up to 150 days in jail, according to police.
Over the weekend, South Daytona police said investigators were in contact with Lemansky’s family members, as well as other law enforcement agencies. Family members told law enforcement officers that the dog in the photo is OK.