I believe that many standard forms of punishment are rather useless. A night or two in jail does little to correct a person's future behavior. Getting creative and handing down a sentence that truly fits the crime is a great idea, and often helps people much better see the error of their ways.
No, this punishment for animal cruelty, while it satisfies the desire for the perpetrator of a crime to suffer as the victim suffered, was not the best or most effective punishment. It probably only made the pet owner angry or disgusted without impressing on him or her the true horror of their crime, and therefore it is unlikely it achieved any lasting change.
Some people, and some lawmakers, may view this punishment as "unusual," something that is explicitly forbidden by the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Yes, what she did was wrong and she should face punishment. However, this punishment may give the woman a way out if she chooses to right the charges, something she should not have.
Animal rights is a very important topic to me, so seeing these kinds of stories with pet abusers and neglecters makes me outraged. That being said, an "eye for an eye" has never been the kind of punishment that I agree with. It is childish and unproductive, and at the end of the sentence will only cause the owner to be filled with more anger. This perpetuates the cycle.