Social media image draws global outrage
Lemansky told the municipal North Carolina cops Monday she was the same person who had posted a picture of the chocolate lab mix on a Facebook page under the alias "Katie Brown" of South Daytona that countless people across the globe found offensive.
Equally offensive was the caption with the photo that read, "This is what haopens when you don't shut up!!!"
The social media pic went viral, shared by more than a third of a million visitors before it was finally taken down on late Sunday afternoon.
But not before police here in South Daytona were inundated with more than 600 calls.
South Daytona issued a press release just after 10 p.m. Monday regarding the earlier summons given to the arrest of Lemansky, who owns residential property in this Central Florida municipality just south of Daytona Beach.
"South Daytona Police confirmed that Katharine Lemansky, 45, was arrested in North Carolina today, where she admitted to officials that she duct taped the muzzle of her dog while she was staying in Cary, North Carolina," said Jeanne Willard, South Daytona government spokeswoman in an emailed statement.
The statement by Willard was later amended to say Lemansky was charged, but not arrested.
Willard continued, "The photo she posted of the incident on Facebook went viral prompting a global public outcry. South Daytona Police tracked Lemansky to North Carolina and contacted local police after talking to her by phone. Cary police officers responded, and after interviewing Lemansky charged her with a Class 1 misdemeanor, cruelty to animals. Officials report that the dog is fine, with no noticeable injuries and appeared to be well nourished."
Willard added, "South Daytona Police Chief Ronald Wright commended his officers for their diligence in investigating this case even though there was no evidence that a crime had occurred in the City.
In the same prepared statement, Willard quotes Wright as saying, "It was the right thing to do.The picture posted on social media was very disturbing and our department worked very hard to resolve this case. We are also appreciative of the Cary Police Department’s assistance.”
Willard did not say how South Daytona cops got Lemansky's cell phone number.
Headline Surfer® passed along a tip it received from a Facebook friend for an advertisement posted on craigslist offering a "free chocolate lab and it was posted by a "Katie Brown" along with a phone number with a 386 area code, which is for Volusia County.
With the ad was the photo of a dog -- a photo just like the dog in the earlier Facebook posting by "Katie Brown of South Daytona" that was shown with its mouth duct-taped.
The internet newspaper sent the email at 4:31 p.m. Monday to South Daytona Police Lt. Dan Dietrich along with an attached jpeg image of the advertisement that had the name "Katie Brown" listed.
In the email, captioned as "For your investigation" in the message line, the internet newspaper wrote to Dietrich: I don't know if you will find the information I've attached in the form of a jpeg (Craigslist advertising the dog by Katie Brown) helpful, but in the spirit of cooperation and professional friendship, I am passing it along to you. I have not yet dialed the number. I don't know if it's genuinely Ms. Lemansky who posted the ad on Craigslist or any one of her numerous social media haters.
The Headline Surfer tip to SDPD's Dietrich continued: If I come across anything else I will certainly forward it to you. Best of luck to you and your chief in dealing with this situation. My email for purposes of public records and press releases is firstname.lastname@example.org (until I can get Headline Surfer email fixed)...
Dietrich got similar tips from countless sources.
Headline Surfer® called the number after passing along the tip to Dietrich, but got voicemail from a female voice answering as "Kate." But the internet newspaper was unable to leave a message for a call back because the voicemail was full.
Cary, NC cops: No signs of abuse to duct-taped dog
“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,” Cary Police Capt. Randall Rhyne said.
“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.
Rhyne emphasized, "And there were no signs of injury to (the dog's) muzzle, not even detectable hair loss.”
Town of Cary Police worked with law enforcement officials across two states to determine jurisdiction and to pursue a quick resolution to the situation that had prompted public outcry and messages to local officials from thousands of people across the globe.
Cary Police sent animal control officers to investigate Lemansky within an hour of being contacted by South Daytona Beach law enforcement regarding the disturbing photo and the possibility that Lemansky was in North Carolina.
The City of South Daytona reportedly received confirmation from Lemansky’s family members that she had not lived in South Daytona Beach for about 1.5 years and contacted Avon, Conn. police who also stated that Lemansky no longer lived in that location.
Lemansky was tracked to Churchview Street in Cary where she was located and issued the summons to appear in court there early next year. .
Newsmaker Bio: Dan Dietrich, lieutenant, South Daytona police force