Schenectady County

Woman gets 45 days in jail for beating dog in Central Park

The woman who punched and kicked her dog in front of a horrified onlooker at Central Park was senten

The woman who punched and kicked her dog in front of a horrified onlooker at Central Park was sentenced to jail Thursday.

Dana L. Jarvis will spend 45 days in jail and three years on probation, during which she cannot own or possess animals.

Schenectady City Court Judge Matthew Sypniewski said she had exhibited “absolutely unacceptable community behavior.”

Jarvis has been in jail since she was found guilty in a jury trial last month, so her release date is July 18. That assumes she cooperates in jail and doesn’t break any other laws, Sypniewski warned.

On July 18, he will set the conditions of her probation before releasing her.

Jarvis’ defense attorney, Brendan Keller, asked the judge to sentence her to the two weeks she had already served. He said the statute under which she was convicted was “unconstitutionally vague.”

“It’s a very broad statute, and Ms. Jarvis falls just within the statute,” he said.

Both he and prosecutor Kevin Cheung noted the dog wasn’t injured, but Cheung also said the attack was unnecessary.

“The dog had not done anything to warrant the action,” he said.

He also implied that Jarvis lied on the stand when she testified that she only spanked the dog lightly for going after another dog. He cited that as an example of a lack of remorse.

Keller disagreed, saying Jarvis is “remorseful for any pain she caused the animal.” Sypniewski didn’t buy it.

“The testimony was not only inconsistent but absolutely unworthy of belief,” he said.

But, he added, “there was no real evidence of injury to the animal … but I do think some jail time is appropriate.”

Jarvis stood shaking and crying in court as Sypniewski mulled her sentence for several minutes. Jarvis could have been sentenced to up to a year in jail.

When Sypniewski finally announced she would serve 45 days, she seemed relieved. She stopped shaking and crying and began nodding her head solemnly to each condition cited by the judge.

Jarvis, 40, was convicted last month of one count of torturing and injuring an animal, a misdemeanor. She twice punched her boyfriend’s German shepherd and then kicked it in the shoulder after it fell to the ground on Sept. 7, 2013.

The incident happened just after the Fireplug 500, a fundraiser for which 1,000 animal lovers had gathered in the park. A woman returning to her car after the event witnessed the attack and tried to stop Jarvis verbally. Jarvis and her boyfriend allegedly responded with verbal threats, then left.

The woman and many others who attended the fundraiser helped identify Jarvis. Police found her later that day. The dog was not confiscated because it didn’t belong to her.

Categories: Schenectady County

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