December 15, 2015
WNCN reported that Katharine Lemansky, AKA Katie Brown, the woman who was sought up and down the U.S. East Coast in November for taping her dog’s mouth shut and posting the photo on Facebook, had her first appearance in court on Monday. This was an administrative court date and was held at the Wake County Justice Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. At this appearance, the 45-year old Lemansky filled out paperwork for her upcoming trial, but she has not filed a plea at this time.
On Monday, Lemansky asked the magistrate judge to appoint a public defender to represent her, and the judge agreed. As expected, based on the extensive news coverage on the search for this woman, there was a great deal of media attention at court. When asked how her dog was doing, Lemansky replied, “She’s fine, thank you.” The story of Lemansky’s Facebook post, a photo of her dog with its muzzle taped shut, and the caption, “This is what happens when you don’t shut up,” the viral sharing and demand for action by concerned animal advocates around the world, and the ensuing multi-state search resulting from that outcry, was first detailed by this Examiner here. When Lemansky was arrested in Cary, North Carolina, three days after the Facebook photo appeared, as reported by this Examiner in the follow-up story here, the news exploded. That photo itself has been shared over 400,000 times. People demanded action and were thrilled that their pleas were heard. It is believed that she went into hiding after the initial outcry, which contributed to the delay in capturing her.
Though the chocolate lab named Brown, and its litter-mate, were left with Ms. Lemanksy, because there were no visible signs of injury to the dog’s muzzle, no detectable hair loss, and they appeared to be clean and well fed, she was still charged with one count of Class 1 misdemeanor cruelty to animals, which is the law in North Carolina. If she’s found guilty, she could face a fine and up to 150 days in jail. Some legal experts believe Lemansky is unlikely to go to jail, and may only have to pay the fine.
At the court appearance, Lemansky had little else to say to reporters, other than,
“No comment, please, may I please do my paperwork? Please have a little respect for me. Just this much. Thank you.”
Lemansky’s next court date is January 5, 2016.