A Florida woman has been found guilty of animal cruelty after duct-taping her dog’s mouth shut and posting the photo on Facebook.
Katharine F. Lemansky, also known as Katie Brown, of South Daytona, faced a barrage of criticism after posting the image with the caption: “This is what happens when you don’t shut up.”
The 45-year-old told officers she left the tape on for ‘15-20 seconds’ during the incident in November, adding she did it as a joke to show her son.
She received a 60-day jail sentence, suspended for 12 months of supervised probation, according to reports.
District Judge Jackie Brewer said: “This is one of those cases where a picture’s worth a thousand words.”
Officers did not remove the dog from the woman as they found no further evidence of animal cruelty and said the chocolate Labrador had generally been well cared for, despite the incident.
She added: “Don’t panic everyone it was only for a minute but hasn’t barked since… POINT MADE!!!”
The 45-year-old’s controversial actions sparked complaints from 44 US states, with South Daytona Police left ‘overwhelmed’ by the public’s response.
It was shared by more than 300,000 Facebook users, horrifying many, with a resident in Australia even contacting a US police department about the case.
“Of course the dog cannot be here and tell you it felt pain,” said Alex Pulley, an assistant Wake County district attorney. “She did this your honour, for no other reason but to punish.”