Local News

Woman who taped dog's mouth charged with animal cruelty in Cary

Posted November 30, 2015 6:47 p.m. EST
Updated December 1, 2015 7:11 p.m. EST

— A woman who posted a photo of her chocolate lab-mix with its mouth taped shut on Facebook has been charged with animal cruelty in Cary.

Katharine F. Lemansky, whose Facebook page lists her name as Katie Brown, posted the photo that sparked social media backlash on Nov. 27. The photo was labeled with a South Daytona, Fla. location but authorities determined that the incident took place in Cary, where she was staying with the dog. Police said that during an investigation, they determined that Lemansky had not lived in South Daytona, Fla. for more than a year.

Lemansky, of Churchview Street in Cary, was charged with one count of misdemeanor cruelty to animals. The charge carries a fine possible jail time of up to 150 days. Lemansky is scheduled to appear in Wake County court on Dec. 14.

“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.

Rhyne said more and more people are being caught committing a crime because of social media.

"Anytime we see a crime, anytime we see those types of things, whether it is posted on social media or whatever, we are going to investigate it to its full extent," he said.

Lemansky would not speak to WRAL News on Monday night.

Rhyne noted that animal control officers examined the dog, named Brown, and her littermate and found the animals to be well cared for. For that reason, he said, the dogs were not taken from Lemansky.

“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,” said Rhyne.