PLAISTOW — A former Danville woman was sentenced yesterday to 45 days in jail in an animal cruelty case that included a horse's death by starvation.

Kim Damato, 47, will go to jail today. She will serve her sentence on weekends, from 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday at 5 p.m.

Damato's last known address is in Plaistow.

She was arrested by Danville police in March 2008, about two weeks after officers responded to a report of a horse in distress at 272 Main St.

A 2-year-old quarter horse was found to be too emaciated to be saved and was euthanized at the request of its owner, police said at the time.

Two other horses, a 12-year-old quarter horse and a 7-year-old pinto gelding, were removed from the residence and returned to their owners, police said earlier.

Her arrest followed an investigation by Danville police and animal control, Hampstead animal control, the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and an equine veterinary practice.

Damato entered not guilty pleas, but accepted a guilty finding on them. She has appealed each conviction.

Yesterday's sentencing agreement followed a pre-trial sentence investigation report.

The sentence was ordered after the court took into consideration the apparent "extreme" cruelty, withholding food and water, resulting in the death of one of the horses, as well as stresses in the Damato's life, her lack of a criminal record and her successful care of animals in the past.

Damato made a brief statement in a phone interview yesterday.

"I'm glad it is over and I feel like I've done the right thing," she said.

Sheila Johannesen, Danville's animal control officer, said she was happy with the court's decision.

"I'm happy that justice is finally going to be served," Johannesen said. "Animals don't have any voice."

Conditions tied to the sentence include two years of probation and a mental health evaluation, and Damato cannot own any animals, except her dog and two cats, according to the court sentencing order.

She also was found guilty of filing a false report to law enforcement.


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