-- The woman who posted a Facebook photo of a dog with its mouth taped shut, sparking global outcry, has been located and charged with animal cruelty in North Carolina.
Katharine Lemansky, 45, admitted to police that she had posted the photo of a Chocolate Lab-mix with duct tape wrapped around its mouth to her Facebook page and has been charged with one count of Class 1 Misdemeanor Cruelty to Animals by the Cary police Department, Cary police said in a statement on Monday.
After having trouble finding Lemansky because she owns properties in both Florida and Connecticut, South Daytona, Florida, police were told by family members that she had not lived in South Daytona for 1 ½ years, department spokeswoman Jeanne Willard told ABC News today.
South Daytona officers tracked Lemansky to North Carolina and contacted the Cary police after talking to her on the phone, South Daytona police said in a statement.
Within an hour of being contacted by South Daytona police, Cary animal control officers were sent to investigate Lemansky and her dog, who police refer to as “Brown,” Cary police said.
The department worked with law enforcement officials in Florida and Connecticut to determine jurisdiction, the statement said, and after admitting the photo was posted while staying in Cary, Lemansky was charged under North Carolina law.
“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,” Cary police Captain Randall Rhyne said in a statement. “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.”
Cary police said animal control officers determined that Lemansky’s two dogs are current on their shots, spayed and microchipped, as well as clean and well-nourished.
“There were no signs of injury to Brown’s muzzle, not even detectable hair loss,” Rhyne said.
Cary police said the charge carries a fine and the possibility of up to 150 days in jail. Lemansky will be appearing in Wake County court Dec. 14.
Lemansky could not immediately be reached for comment.