(NBC News) Florida police have opened an animal cruelty investigation into a Facebook user who posted a picture of her dog with its mouth duct-taped shut.
Katie Brown first put up the disturbing photo Friday morning, with the caption, “This is what happens when you dont shut up!!!”
It has been shared over 238,000 times as of Saturday afternoon, and police in South Daytona say they have been overwhelmed by messages and emails — receiving about 32,000 calls about the post.
Brown has since written a follow-up message on Facebook: “Dont panic everyone it was only for a minute but hasnt barked since… POINT MADE!!!”
People from across the world have responded to the photo, calling for action to be taken against the pet owner.
South Daytona police confirmed to NBC News that they have opened an active animal cruelty investigation.
Brown’s Facebook lists her as a South Daytona resident who attended school at Central Connecticut State University. Police have determined that Brown was out of state for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend when she posted the photo, but they will be contacting her when she returns to the beach community.
Brown couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
The city of South Daytona said Saturday morning that they “have information to indicate that the dog is OK at this time” and thanked the public for their outpouring of concern.
“The police have all the information and have been working this case through the night,” the city said on its Facebook page, adding, “Rest assured that a full investigation will be done and appropriate action will be taken.”