A woman who brazenly posted a photo of her dog to social media with its mouth taped shut has been charged with animal cruelty in Cary, North Carolina, WNCN News reported November 30.
Katherine F. Lemansky, 45, known as Katie Brown on her Facebook profile, posted the photo of her dog with duct tape around the muzzle. The photo quickly went viral on social media after being posted on Friday, where it was shared hundreds of thousands of times. So many hits came into the South Daytona website that the site crashed. Seven employees worked overtime to handle the 911 calls which came in as far away as Australia begging the police to find the woman and seize the dog.
According to a November 30 report by Town of Cary, police worked with law enforcement officials between Florida and Connecticut to locate Lemansky and her dog. Cary Police sent Animal Control officers to investigate Lemansky within an hour after learning from her family that she had not lived in the South Daytona Beach area for a year and a half. This prompted them to contact Connecticut police, where it was learned Lemansky currently resides in Cary.
On Facebook, Lemansky claimed she taped the muzzle because her dog was barking too much. The photo was posted by Katie Brown from South Daytona where Lemansky stated
“This is what happens when you don’t shut up!!!”
South Daytona police alerted Cary police, who paid a visit to her home to check on the dog following an investigation by police in both Connecticut and Florida. Lemansky told investigators the dog was in good health. She may still face criminal charges in Connecticut and animal services in Florida are authorized to seize the dog should she return to the state. Torrington Animal Control in Connecticut posted an update Saturday on Facebook
“At this time our inbox is not currently working so please bear with us as we try to read through all of your messages. We are still diligently working on tracking down the owner who posted that dreadful picture to Facebook earlier this morning but it appears that she is no longer residing in Avon … or Connecticut for that matter. All new, and pertinent information that we get is being immediately forward to Daytona PD as that is where the suspect is believed to be living/heading. Thank you all for your concern for this animal.”
Cary Animal Control visited the home and found the dog well cared for, up to date on vaccines, microchipped and appeared to be comfortable in its surroundings. This is why they did not and could not remove the dog from Lemansky.
Under North Carolina animal cruelty law, Lemansky was charged with Class 1 Misdemeanor Cruelty to Animals. She’s scheduled to appear in a Wake County court on December 14. An online petition has been set up asking Facebook to remove Katie Brown and her supporters from Facebook.
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