A Calgary judge has taken the rare step of handing a jail sentence to a woman who was convicted of abusing a dog.

The 52-year-old Calgary woman pleaded guilty this week to causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to a Chihuahua named Chewy.

The charges were laid after witnesses reported seeing the woman throw the small dog from a second-floor balcony into a fence, and then again over the fence, in August 2012.

The woman was sentenced to 60 days in jail — to be served intermittently — plus six months of probation. She is also banned from owning or caring for animals for 10 years.

dog Chewy

Jail time for convicted animal abusers is relatively rare, according to the Calgary Humane Society. (Calgary Humane Society )

“It is fairly rare to see incarceration used as a sentence in an animal cruelty cases. Often incarceration is not even on the table if the charge is laid under the Animal Protection Act,” said Calgary Humane Society cruelty investigations manager Brad Nichols.

“Criminal Code charges were warranted here due to the violent nature of the crime.”

Nichols said in his 10 years on the job, he has only seen about five offenders handed sentences with jail time.

Chewy was rehabilitated and now lives in a new home, the society said.