A woman who posted a picture of her chocolate lab-mix with its mouth taped shut on her Facebook page has now been charged, according to city officials in Cary, North Carolina.
The photo was labeled with a South Daytona, Florida location. However, the woman was staying with the dog in Cary, which is where she's been charged, officials said.
Katharine F. Lemansky, 45, whose Facebook page lists her name as Katie Brown, has been charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty after admitting the incident took place in Cary.
The charge carries a fine and up to 150 days in jail. Police said no additional charges are pending.
"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. "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."
Town of Cary Police said they worked with law enforcement officials across two states to determine jurisdiction and to pursue a resolution to the situation that had prompted public outcry and messages to local officials from thousands of people.
Cary Police sent animal control officers to investigate Lemansky after being contacted by South Daytona Beach law enforcement regarding the photo and the possibility that Lemansky was in North Carolina.
The City of South Daytona reportedly received confirmation from Lemansky's family that she had not lived in South Daytona Beach for over a year and contacted Avon, Connecticut police, who also said Lemansky no longer lived there.
Lemansky was then tracked to Cary where she was located and charged. She has a court appearance in Wake County Court on Dec. 14.