RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The woman at the center of an international outcry on social media was found guilty of animal cruelty Friday afternoon in a Wake County courtroom Friday.
Late last year, Katharine Lemansky posted a photo of a dog with its mouth duct taped shut to Facebook. It was captioned, “This is what happens when you don’t shut up!!!”
Lemansky pleaded not guilty on Friday but the judge ruled against her. He gave her 12 months supervised probation and she was required to pay court fees.
Her online post sparked a search by police for the owner in multiple states; that search ended in Cary.
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 was charged with one count of Class 1 misdemeanor cruelty to animals. She could have faced up to 150 days in jail.
On Friday, an animal control officer who had the first encounter with Lemansky said she admitted putting the duct tape on the dog and said she did it because the dog was barking. The officer said she told him she didn’t mean to post the image to Facebook but was intending to send it to her son.
The officer said the dog appeared in good spirits and did not seem to be afraid of Lemansky. The officer also said the dog did not appear injured, and Lemansky said it was merely a joke that got out of hand.
After the verdict, Lemansky left without speaking to reporters and her attorney declined to comment.
In November, police allowed Lemansky to keep the dog because there were no signs of injury and her animals appeared to be well-cared for.
At a December court appearance, CBS North Carolina asked Lemansky about the incident. She said she had no comment.
Lemansky was also asked how her dog was doing and she said, “She’s fine, thank you.”