RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A woman at the center of an international outcry on social media appeared in Wake County court Monday.
The woman, Katharine Lemansky, posted a photo of a dog with its mouth duct taped shut to Facebook.
The online posting of the photo in November with the caption, “This is what happens when you don’t shut up!!!” sparked a search by police for the owner in multiple states. The search led them to woman right here in the Triangle.
Cary Police found Lemansky, the dog’s owner, on Churchview Street in Cary.
Police in South Daytona, Florida had been looking for her because she had an address there. Police in Florida said she moved to Connecticut about a year ago, but was headed back to Florida for a visit.
Police believe Lemansky went into hiding when the outrage began online.
Police said she admitted that the incident happened in Cary. In a follow-up post, she said the duct tape was only on the dog for 60 seconds.
Lemansky is charged with one count of Class 1 misdemeanor cruelty to animals. If she’s found guilty, she could face a fine and up to 150 days in jail.
Legal experts told NBC News that she is unlikely to go to jail, saying she’ll probably only have to pay a fine.
Lemansky still has the dog because police said there were no signs of injury and her animals appeared to be very well-cared for.
… 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.”
Monday’s appearance was an administrative court date so Lemansky did not make a plea.
Lemansky filled out paperwork to apply for a public defender and the magistrate judge approved the request.
“No comment, please, may I please do my paperwork? Please have a little respect for me. Just this much. Thank you,” Lemansky stated at Monday’s court appearance.
Lemansky was asked how her dog was doing and she said, “She’s fine, thank you.”
Her next court date is Jan. 5, 2016.