A woman from North Carolina who taped her dog's mouth shut and then uploaded a picture of it on social media was found guilty of animal cruelty on June 3.
Katharine Lemansky, otherwise known as Katie Brown, was found guilty of animal cruelty and was initially sentenced to 60 days in jail, the Independent reports. That sentence was later reduced to 12 months of supervised probation and an order for Lemansky to pay court fees, according to WTVD.
The incident happened in November 2015, when Lemansky posted a picture of her Labrador on Facebook with his mouth held shut with duct tape. Accompanying the picture was a caption that read: "This is what happens when you dont shut up!!!"
The post went viral and was shared by thousands of outraged internet users. Lemansky later insisted the picture was not meant to be taken seriously and defended the action in a follow-up post, saying: "Don't panic everyone it was only for a minute but hasn't barked since… POINT MADE!!!"
The outrage generated by Lemansky's post was enough to spark an investigation spanning across three states before Lemansky was found in Cary, North Carolina.
During court proceedings on June 3, Lemansky admitted to taping the dog's mouth shut as a "joke" and said it was a way to get the dog to stop barking, according to Cary Animal Control Supervisor Shelly Smith.
Lemansky said that the picture was uploaded onto Facebook mistakenly and had only been meant for her son to see. She told the Wake County court that the duct tape was only on the dog's mouth for 15 to 20 seconds before she removed it.
According to Police Captain Randall Rhyne, taping her dog's mouth shut was "a terrible decision on Ms. Lemansky's part."
Rhyne added: "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."