Crime

Owner of dog photographed with muzzle taped shut asks for Wake public defender

This picture of Brown went viral after after its owner posted it on Facebook. Katharine Lemansky, the owner, has been cited by Cary Police with animal cruelty.
This picture of Brown went viral after after its owner posted it on Facebook. Katharine Lemansky, the owner, has been cited by Cary Police with animal cruelty. Twitter

The woman who brewed a social media storm after posting a photo of her dog with its mouth taped shut was in Wake County court on Monday on animal cruelty charges.

At the brief administrative hearing, Katharine F. Lemansky filled out paper work seeking a public defender. She left the courthouse without commenting to media crews.

Lemansky, 45, was charged by Cary police with the misdemeanor after learning the chocolate-lab mix dog’s muzzle was taped in town. A photo was uploaded to Lemansky’s Facebook page with the caption, “This is what happens when you don’t shut up!!!”

The image, since removed from her Facebook page, whipped up a storm of negative comments and people seeking justice for the dog. It was shared more than 300,000 times.

Soon after the photo went up, another post appeared on the page: “Don’t panic everyone it was only for a minute but hasn’t barked since… POINT MADE!!!”

Cary police sent animal control officers to the home where Lemansky was staying and evaluated the dog whose muzzle was taped as well as one that belonged to her sister.

The officers did not remove the dogs from the home because the officers said they looked to have been well cared for.

Cary Police Captain Randall Rhyne stated in a news release that the dogs were “clean and well-nourished and appear to be comfortable in their surroundings.”

He further stated that there were no signs of injury to the dog’s muzzle, “not even detectable hair loss.”

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