Katie Brown, who put duct tape on her dog’s muzzle “to shut him up” and then posted a picture of it on Facebook, has been charged with animal cruelty and is facing a fine and possibly up to 150 days in jail. However, despite the charges, 45-year-old Katie Brown gets to keep her dog.
According to a Town of Cary, North Carolina, press release on November 30, the dog whose muzzle had been shut with duct tape was examined by animal control officers and after finding that the chocolate lab-mix was well cared for, officers found no reason to remove the dog from Brown.
“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,” stated Cary Police Captain Randall Rhyne in the press release. “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.”
On Friday, November 27, Katie Brown, whose real name is Katharine F. Lemansky and who listed South Daytona, Florida, as her location, posted a picture on Facebook of her dog with the duct tape over its muzzle accompanied with the words “This is what happens when you don’t shut up!!!”
Within hours, the photo was shared by hundreds of thousands of Facebook users and by Saturday, the City of South Daytona received so many upset emails that the city’s server crashed. Seven more people had to be called in to work at the city’s 911 center because South Daytona received such a massive number of calls from around the world.
“People were begging the city and law enforcement to find the woman and rescue the dog. The owner, it turns out, was in Avon, Connecticut for the holiday weekend,” reports WFLA.
By Monday, Florida officials were able to track the woman who put duct tape on her dog’s mouth because he was allegedly barking too much to North Carolina. Katie Brown was not arrested or put in jail but was only charged with one count of Class 1 Misdemeanor Cruelty to Animals. She has to appear in Wake County court in North Carolina on December 14.
Katie Brown’s residency is reportedly questionable and she does have a criminal record. If she does return to Florida, where she owns a home in South Daytona and where her son is believed to be living, animal services have the authority to confiscate the dog who she allegedly abused with duct tape — but while in North Carolina, the dog stays with Katie Brown.