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North Carolina Police Charge Woman With Animal Cruelty After Duct Taping Dog’s Muzzle

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A woman who posted a picture of her chocolate lab-mix with its mouth taped shut on her social media page, which was labeled with a South Daytona, Florida location has now been charged in Cary where she was staying with the dog. Katharine F. Lemansky, 45, whose Facebook page lists her name as Katie Brown, is charged with one count of Class 1 Misdemeanor Cruelty to Animals after admitting that the incident took place in Cary. The charge carries a fine and possibly up to 150 days in jail. Lemansky must appear in Wake County court December 14, 2015. 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 worked with law enforcement officials across two states to determine jurisdiction and to pursue a quick resolution to the situation that had prompted public outcry and messages to local officials from thousands of people across the globe. Cary Police sent Animal Control officers to investigate Lemansky within an hour of being contacted by South Daytona Beach law enforcement regarding the disturbing photo and the possibility that Lemansky was in North Carolina. The City of South Daytona reportedly received confirmation from Lemansky’s family members that she had not lived in South Daytona Beach for about 1.5 years and contacted Avon, Connecticut police who also stated that Lemansky no longer lived in that location. She was then tracked to Churchview Street in Cary where she was located and charged. The dog’s photo was posted on Facebook Friday, November 27.

As always, anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Town of Cary Police Department at (919) 469-4012 or Cary Crime Stoppers at (919) 460-4636. Crime Stoppers pays up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of those responsible for committing certain types of crimes. All calls will be kept CONFIDENTIAL at caller’s request.

For more crime prevention tips, see the Police Department section of www.townofcary.org or call (919) 469-4324. For real-time crime updates, follow the Town of Cary’s Safety feed on Twitter @TOC_Safety.

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  1. Unacceptable behaviour. I’m glad the power of social media put an end to this. Hope the dog finds his forever home soon!

  2. Avatar Of Jason Jason says:

    Let’s tape up a hairy part of your body n peel it off. This will cause some pain! This is abuse!

  3. That’s soooo not cool,, that’s like putting tape over a babies mouth,,, dumb ass needs jail and to never get to own a dog ever,

  4. This person needs to understand that dogs bark, they need to bark because it’s part of who they are. She needs to be taught how to train her dogs not to bark in the house if she wants quiet indoors. My dog doesn’t bark in the house or in the car. I trained him this from the very beginning. He talks to me when he wants out in a soft grumble . He also grumbles when he wants me to know someone is coming up to the house. This person needs to learn how to train her dogs.

  5. Avatar Of S.l.



    Tape her mouth shut.

    • Avatar Of Rose



      Amen, people that abuse animals are scum. Throw them in the trash dump with their hands and feet tied and a big strap of tape across their mouth. Don’t the dumb assessment know that a dog is as helpless as a small child? They have no voice, especially when their mouth is taped shut.

  6. Avatar Of Poor Puppy

    poor puppy


    If anyone read what she actually wrote on her own posting it was clear she is not the brightest bulb in the box.

  7. Avatar Of Kim Woelk kim woelk says:

    Why was the dog duck taped in the first place?

  8. Avatar Of Deb Gamble

    Deb Gamble


    That is just horrible! I hope she gets the book thrown at her! No pet should have to endure that type of abuse whatsoever!!! She doesn’t deserve to even own a pet! Shame on her!!!

  9. Avatar Of Jean



    Just look at the dog’s bewildered face — it is full of fear. The woman may take good care of her dogs physically in terms of feeding and shots but she needs some serious help to learn to relate to them emotionally. Throwing her in jail will accomplish nothing as the dogs will have no home but instead, make her do community service in a shelter plus attend REQUIRED training with a good trainer. There are instances of abuse where I say put them in jail and throw away the key. In this case, there are better ways to accomplish something positive.

    • Avatar Of Ilya



      Jean, you are spot on. Jailing her will accomplish absolutely nothing. It was probably something stupid she did on the spur of the moment. Community service in a dog shelter is a much better way. Maybe it will help her relate to dogs emotionally.

  10. Avatar Of Dirk Rogers

    Dirk Rogers


    A dog must be able to pant and open it’s mouth to regulate it’s temperature.This was a cruel act and showed such bad judgement and disregard she should not own animals.A dog only knows it’s in great distress with a taped mouth and many dogs are killed this way yearly.

  11. Avatar Of Aaron



    With all due respect, this seems like caving to popular pressure. While this is undoubtedly inappropriate, how is this animal cruelty? How is it any different from putting a muzzle on a dog? How is it worse than using a shock collar on a dog? How is it worse than smacking a dog? I never heard police being called to investigate animal cruelty because someone smacked his dog or used a shock collar to train him. this woman didn’t leave him to die or torture him. She didn’t even cause him pain. This is just a populist persecution by police.

    Disclosure: I own a dog.

    • Avatar Of Susan



      Aaron, the reason they went after her was because of the tens of thousands of calls from all over the world that were coming in. But mainly it was because back in June there was a similar case. washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/06/02/man-accused-of-cruelly-taping-a-dogs-muzzle-shut-is-arrested/

      They have to investigate whenever a call comes in, and rightfully so this is animal abuse. A muzzle goes over their snout and does not hurt the animal in any way. Duct tape is much more damaging.

    • Avatar Of Andy



      Do some research and look up a dog named Caitlin (I think that’s the correct spelling), from a few months ago. The dog was badly mutilated by an incident just like this. That case was deliberate abuse. There have been other cases since then as well. That’s why it was taken so seriously, as it should be. If the investigation results are what they say, then hopefully she learned a good lesson and it ends there.

    • Avatar Of Joanne



      Put the rape across your mouth for a minute and then pull it off! See how you like it. People need to see that no level of cruelty is acceptable. Would you be defending a mother if she had done it to her child?

    • Avatar Of Dirk Rogers Dirk Rogers says:

      Muzzles do not completly close the mouth.A dog can only regulate temperature and respirations with an open mouth.Muzzles should be removed every 30 minutes.Having it’s mouth taped shut is very distressing and frightening to a dog.hundreds die every year with their mouths taped.If people can’t put the welfare of their pets or children before themselves they shouldn’t have them.What she did was a cruel act.Animals are not accessories.

    • Avatar Of Jason Jason says:

      Let’s wrap tape on a hairy part of your body n peel it off and see if it causes pain!!

    • Avatar Of Jason Jason says:

      Let’s tape a hairy part of your body n peel it off n see if that causes u pain. This is abuse!.

  12. The kind of behavior she exhibited is worthy of punishment, but owners who get frustrated by a dog’s behavior often have a first instinct is to punish or “correct” the dog, instead of thinking about how to *teach* the dog to do a behavior that would be preferable to barking or whatever the unwanted behavior was. They may not go to this extreme, but even yelling at a dog is frightening to them and does little to change a natural behavior such as barking. Amazingly enough, right in Cary, there is a truly excellent trainer (John Visconti, Rising Star Dog Training) this woman could have taken advantage of, and this unfortunate incident could have been completely avoided with no suffering on the part of the dog. The Pet Professional Guild has a trainer directory, and PPG trainers use no harsh methods.

  13. Avatar Of Lola Gibson

    Lola Gibson


    Abuse is abuse. Fine her but if you jail her who will look after the dogs?

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