Katharine Lemansky thought it would be a good idea to tape her dog’s mouth shut and post the evidence to Facebook. She has now been charged with cruelty.

The 45-year old will be allowed to keep her chocolate Labrador cross, called Brown, until she appears in court.

"Taping the dog’s muzzle shut was a terrible decision on Ms Lemansky’s part," said Cary, North Carolina police 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."

Social media users who saw the photo of Brown spread their concern quickly.

The photo was captioned, "This is what happens when you don’t shut up!!!"

According to officials, police officers in South Daytona in Florida tracked Ms Lemansky to North Carolina, where she admitted taping up the dog’s mouth.

She faces a fine and up to 150 days in jail over the charge – called a misdemeanour in America.

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