After a Facebook photo of a dog with its muzzle taped shut went viral, the woman who posted it is facing animal cruelty charges.
Katharine Lemansky, 45, taped her chocolate lab's muzzle shut and then put the photo on Facebook with the caption, “This is what happens when you dont shut up!!!” But the photo got shared more than 150,000 times and infuriated dog lovers around the world who wanted the woman to be held responsible for what seemed like animal cruelty.
Lemansky's Facebook page said she lived in South Daytona, Florida, which prompted thousands of people to contact that city and demand that the woman be punished. However, it was soon determined that Lemansky no longer resides in that city. Nonetheless, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, “the city's Facebook page was hit with 1.9 million posts, 19,000 comments and more than 600 messages.” In addition, the city's police department also received hundreds of emails.
The worldwide outrage led to Lemansky being tracked down in Cary, North Carolina, where police charged her with a class 1 misdemeanor of cruelty to animals.
“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 in a press release.
Rhyne added that police inspected Lemansky's residence and determined that there was not evidence of any further animal cruelty and they did not take away any of the woman's several dogs.
“The dogs are current on their shots, spayed, and microchipped,” Rhyne said. “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.”
Lemansky is due in court on December 14 and faces a fine and possibly up to 150 days in jail. But in the meantime, she has not publicly apologized for her actions. Rather, she insists what she did was appropriate.
“I cant lie I did it for sixty seconds. It was time out and no more barking,” Lemansky wrote on Facebook after experiencing the wrath of the internet. She later added, “Dont panic everyone it was only for a minute but hasn't barked since… POINT MADE!!!”