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Former DeKalb woman sentenced for animal cruelty

Published: Friday, July 12, 2013 2:49 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 12, 2013 10:21 p.m. CDT

SYCAMORE – A 26-year-old former DeKalb woman was sentenced to 18 months of probation for leaving her Rottweiler alone long enough that it died.

Shanna Parks, now of the 0-99 block of Sierra Road, Montgomery, was convicted May 7 of aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony. Parks called DeKalb police Jan. 24, 2012, to report that she had returned home from out of town to find her dog dead in its cage, police said.

Police said they ultimately determined Parks had been visiting her boyfriend in Montgomery. A veterinarian found that dehydration had caused or greatly contributed to the dog’s death.

“She had no idea that leaving the animal alone for two days would result in the death of the animal,” defense attorney Richard Claahsen said.

At Parks’ sentencing hearing Friday afternoon, First Assistant State’s Attorney Duke Harris suggested Presiding Judge Robbin Stuckert sentence her to 30 months of probation, noting that he believed Parks had learned her lesson. She could have been sentenced to up to three years in prison.

Meanwhile, Claahsen emphasized that Parks, who has two children and lives with their father, was her family’s sole breadwinner.

Stuckert ordered Parks to get a psychological evaluation and to follow all the recommendations from it. She also ordered Parks to do 50 hours of community service and to refund authorities for the cost of the necropsy on the dog.

Parks also is prohibited from having or caring for a pet while she’s on probation.

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