Before you go posting to social media thinking you will get rallies of support from your friends and family, think again.
Katherine Lemansky – also known as Katie Brown on her Facebook page – probably thought she would get a more positive reaction when she shared a photo of her dog yesterday on social media.
However, she received a rude wake up call when the responses to her photo were all but nice. And rightfully so.
Katherine shared a photo of her dog Brown with its mouth taped shut. The image went viral for all the wrong reasons. Many cited animal cruelty, including a Wake County, North Carolina courtroom who officially found Katherine guilty for the crime.
The judge in the courtroom ordered one year of supervised probation for Katherine but ultimately suspended the sentence.
As you might imagine, there have been mixed reactions to the judgment. Some were angry over the lack of punishment; some were surprised that the case even went to court, and others felt that the decision showed progress towards taking crimes against animals and animal cruelty more seriously.
Katherine Lemansky’s case isn’t the only case of cruelly muzzling her dog. Kimberly Ann Howell also did the heinous deed to her own dog, but she claimed to have taped the dog’s muzzle shut “as a joke”.
Kimberly was also convicted of animal cruelty in North Carolina just this past December.
But even more disturbing, Kimberly’s cruel act left permanent scarring on her poor SC dog named Caitlyn. She suffered her muzzle being taped shut for at least 48 hours in May 2015.
The case against Kimberly, Caitlyn’s former owner, is still pending.
Regarding Katherine Lemanksy’s case, a three-state investigation determined that her photo came from North Carolina.
From there, Animal Control Supervisor Shelly Smith from Cary, NC began her own investigation.
When Supervisor Smith questioned Katherine about the photo, Katherine claimed it was all “just a joke” and that the photo was only meant to be shown to her son.
This excuse seems unlikely, however, as it appeared on her public Facebook newsfeed with the despicable caption, “This is what happens when you don’t shut up!!!”
Kimberly instantly received negative backlash for the photo, prompting her to post a follow-up later in the same day.
In the follow-up photo, she wrote, “Don’t panic everyone it was only for a minute but [the dog] hasn’t barked since… POINT MADE!!!
But the look on that poor dog’s face speaks volumes.
Despite Katherine Lemansky’s attempts to brush off the severity of the situation, the animal welfare community and authorities weren’t going to let the case go so easily. Supervisor Smith conducted a home visit soon after the incident to check on the dog’s well being. She found that the dog was in good spirits with no signs of injury, swelling or hair loss.
Katherine added that the duct tape on Brown’s muzzle (Brown being the dog) had only been there for 15-20 seconds. That still doesn’t make the act okay.
Nevertheless, Supervisor Smith came to the conclusion that the situation did not require the dog to be removed from the home. However, she felt the case against Lemansky should move forward as scheduled.
During the court’s proceedings, the prosecutor noted that even though Brown did not suffer any visible injuries from the duct tape, it still did cause pain; therefore, Katherine committed an act of animal cruelty.
The judge agreed. Though Katherine will not be serving time in jail or be required to serve the entirety of her year-long probation, she must still pay the court fees for her crime.
Hopefully, she will learn from this costly mistake and treat Brown kinder in the future.
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