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February 20, 2013

Woman who kicked puppy sentenced

MALONE — A Malone woman who kicked a puppy so hard his legs broke is forbidden from owning animals and cannot be left alone with children under 16.

Shannon M. French, 41, was sentenced in Franklin County Court Tuesday to five years probation with special conditions and must perform 250 hours of community service after pleading guilty to aggravated cruelty to animals.

Judge Robert G. Main Jr. also ordered her to pay $1,288 to the North Country Animal Shelter, which cared for the German shepherd puppy, named Barkley, for weeks following surgery to repair his back legs.

REMORSE

Public Defender Thomas Soucia said his client has a drinking problem and that she “was very remorseful” and “more than willing to pay restitution.

“Her acts were despicable. She knows she has to deal with that,” Soucia said, adding that her behavior was “a few minutes of very bad actions.”

French declined to speak on her own behalf, which apparently didn’t sit well with the judge.

“It is remarkable that at the time of her (pre-sentencing) probation interview, she showed no remorse, never said she was sorry and never inquired of the status of the animal,” Main said.

“I guess that is characteristic. Given the opportunity, she’s chosen not to demonstrate any remorse, state any sorrow or express concern over the status of the little puppy.”

CONDITIONS

He said he’d go along with the plea agreement, but warned French she could be sent to state prison if she violated any of the terms of her probation, which expires Feb. 18, 2018.

The judge included a condition that she perform community service, “preferably at a local animal shelter, if any will have her” once they’ve been made aware of her animal-cruelty conviction.

Main further ordered that French not own a domestic animal “of any species” or live in a home that has a pet.

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