A woman who sparked an international furor online after posting a photo on Facebook last week of her dog with its mouth duct-taped shut has been charged with animal cruelty in North Carolina, police said.
But Katharine Lemansky, 45, will be allowed to keep the chocolate lab-mix named Brown after authorities in Cary, North Carolina, said they found no signs of injury or detectable hair loss on the dog’s muzzle.
“Taping the dog’s muzzle shut was a terrible decision on Ms. Lemansky’s part,” Cary Police Captain Randall Rhyne said in a statement on Monday.
“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.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) urged North Carolina officials on Tuesday to remove the dogs from Lemansky’s care and to ban her from future pet ownership if she is convicted.
Concern for Brown the dog spread rapidly after its photo was posted online Friday along with the caption, “This is what happens when you don’t shut up!!!”
Police departments in Florida and Connecticut, two states where Lemansky was believed to have ties, said their communication systems were inundated with phone calls and emails from around the world about the case.
Police officers in South Daytona, Florida, tracked Lemansky to North Carolina, where she admitted the taping incident had taken place,…