HOUSTON, Texas (Reuters) -- A Texas woman convicted of neglecting her two horses will get only bread and water for the first three days of a 30-day jail sentence, a judge said Tuesday.
The Old West-style punishment was fitting for a crime in which Melissa Dawn Sweeney, 28, treated the horses "deplorably," County Court at Law Judge Mike Peters said.
"I used to think back to the time when jail was jail and punishment was punishment, and how they were put in solitary confinement with only bread and water to eat. That was in the back of my mind," he told Reuters.
Sweeney, a former stable worker, was convicted Friday of cruelty to animals for leaving her two horses unfed and unsheltered for four months outside her mobile home in Baytown, Texas, the Houston Chronicle said.
Peters said the horses were more than 200 pounds underweight and in poor health.
"The animals were literally starved," he said. One of them had to be euthanized, while the other recovered under the care of a new owner.
Sweeney testified that she fed the animals and treated them well but said they were in poor condition because they were old.
Peters also required Sweeney to post a photo of the malnourished horses in her jail cell.
"I want her to be forever reminded of what her conduct did to those horses," he said.
I think the punishment is too light.