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Medford woman charged with abuse of young dog

A 19-year-old woman was jailed on a felony aggravated animal abuse charge after she reportedly threw, squeezed and stomped on a Pomeranian puppy near the Medford Center on Wednesday.

The puppy, a 3-month-old female that weighed just 2 pounds, is recovering at the Jackson County animal shelter and being held as evidence in the case, officials said.

Medford police got a report of animal abuse in progress at the shopping center near Biddle Road and Stevens Street at 1:18 p.m. Wednesday, Detective Sgt. Mike Budreau said.

When an officer arrived, about 10 witnesses pointed to a young woman clutching a puppy and said she had been throwing it to the ground, stomping on it and swinging it by its leash, Budreau said.

As the officer approached her, he saw that she was squeezing the small dog so hard it couldn't breathe, Budreau said. The officer asked her to hand him the dog, but she refused.

Then she threw the dog about 10 feet and it landed on the pavement. The officer moved in to arrest her, but she fought him. After a short scuffle, Shasta Dawn Parnell was arrested on charges of aggravated first-degree animal abuse and resisting arrest.

Budreau said the felony charge of aggravated animal abuse is applied in cases of people purposely inflicting pain on an animal for no other reason than torturing it.

Police suspect Parnell, who has no listed address, was suffering from mental illness. She was lodged in jail, where remained Thursday on $25,000 bail.

Animal shelter Director Colleen Macuk said treatment was arranged for the puppy and she was doing well Thursday. The puppy appeared to have no major injuries.

Shelter workers said the pup was being kept as evidence in the case until prosecutors gave the word. Parnell wouldn't be able to reclaim the dog.

Medford woman charged with abuse of young dog