SALEM, Ore. — An Oregon woman who strangled a 9-week-old puppy pleaded no contest to aggravated animal abuse and was sentenced to more than three years behind bars.
Meagan Lafferty, 44, of Salem also pleaded no contest to attempted aggravated harassment at Monday’s hearing before Marion County Judge Claudia Burton, the Statesman Journal reported (http://stjr.nl/2xvbrWg).
The incident happened Jan. 30, when Lafferty’s neighbors invited her to stay the night after she was displaced by a fire. While there, she picked up the Great Pyrenees/Labrador mix and tried to leave with it out the front door.
Lafferty strangled the puppy after ignoring the owner’s demand that she let go. The dog struggled for a few minutes before going limp.
The owner told police that Lafferty said: “I am God, and I am here to end his misery.”
Lafferty kept her hands around the puppy’s neck until police officers pried her fingers away.
After her arrest, Lafferty declined to appear in court or speak with her attorney, who later filed a motion for a psychological evaluation. According to court records, Lafferty had become increasingly isolated and paranoid in the months preceding her arrest.
The judge sentenced Lafferty to two years and four months in prison for killing the puppy, and one year in jail for the harassment charge. She ordered the sentences to be served back-to-back instead of at the same time.
Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com