AVON, Connecticut — The woman accused of posting a photo of a dog with its mouth wrapped in duct tape on Facebook was arrested in North Carolina. On Friday, Katharine F. Lemansky, who uses the name “Katie Brown” on Facebook posted the picture of her chocolate lab-mix with the caption that said “This is what happens when you don’t shut up!!!”
The woman’s post was shared hundreds of thousands of times, however it appears the post has since been taken off the Facebook page.
Police departments and news stations were inundated with phone calls about the post.
On Monday, Lemansky was charged with cruelty to animals by the Cary Police Department after she told police that the incident took place in North Carolina.
“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 release on Monday.
Police said there are no additional charges pending against Lemansky.
“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,” Rhyne said.
Cary Police said they worked with law enforcement officials across two states.
On Saturday, Avon police said they went to the address that she had lived at but she reportedly hasn’t lived there for some time.
“The Avon Police Department Animal Control Office is actively investigating this case and we want to assure you that we take all cases of animal abuse very seriously,” the Avon Police Department said in a statement on Monday.
Torrington police said the incident didn’t happen in town and that she doesn’t live there, and police in South Daytona said the woman hasn’t lived in town for over one year.
South Daytona Police Department determined that Lemansky had not lived in their town for more than a year.
“It’s always horrific to see an animal treated that way,” Amy Harrell with CT Votes for Animals said.
But some feel people have gone too far.
Martha Hickey owns a dog grooming business, Doggie in the Window, in Simsbury and nasty comments were posted on her businesses Facebook page. They accuse them of animal cruelty because a woman, who works at the grooming business, is friends on Facebook with Katie Brown.
The employee told Hickey that she hasn’t talked to her in 20 years.
“I was astonished when I looked at Facebook yesterday, looking at the postings yesterday,” Hickey said. “How people could even arrive at this.”
While Facebook can expose bad things, there’s a lot we don’t know.
“All we have is a still photograph, so we don’t know the back story,” Harrell said. “We don’t know what the context was. What was happening at the time.”
A dispatcher in Avon said one caller demanded police do more and asked the dispatcher how she would feel if her mouth was taped shut.
Right now, police want to talk to Brown and see her dog.