New York: A 45-year-old woman who taped her dog's mouth shut and boasted about it on Facebook has been found guilty of animal cruelty and given a 60-day jail sentence by a US court.
Katharine Lemansky was handed a 60-day jail sentence, suspended for a year of supervised probation, but allowed to keep her chocolate lab-mix named Brown after police in North Carolina found the animal was unharmed and "very well-cared-for".
"This is one of those cases where a picture's worth a thousand words," said district judge Jackie Brewer.
An animal control officer testified that the owner admitted taping the dog's mouth shut. The woman is also paying court fees.
Police said they had found no signs of injury or detectable hair loss on the animal's muzzle at the time, a US media report said. "Taping the dog's muzzle shut was a terrible decision on Lemansky's part," said captain Randall Rhyne.
"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," he said.
Both of the dogs in Lemansky's care were clean, well-nourished, microchipped and their shots were up to date, Rhyne said. Lemansky triggered outrage with her social media post which was shared more than 300,000 times.
"This is what happens when you don't shut up!!!" Lemansky had captioned her post which she later said was a joke. She told the court in Wake County that the duct tape had only been on the dog for 15-20 seconds.
Police officers chased Lemansky across three states and tracked her in North Carolina where she admitted taping up the dog's mouth. Police said they had been inundated with phone calls and emails from around the world about the case.