A Minnesota woman who claimed to run an animal rescue shelter out of her home has been sentenced to animal cruelty charges after investigators found 64 dead cats and 43 living cats on her property.
As The Associated Press reported, 25-year-old Caycee Bregel pleaded guilty to 13 counts of animal cruelty after the animals were found on her property. Investigators found a number of other animals living there, including a 400-pound pig.
Police said Bregel was not caring for the animals and neighbors had called police after they saw the pig running loose. When police arrived, they found a number of cats and dogs in poor health and an “overpowering smell of urine and feces” in the home, court documents showed.
There were also a number of dead cats buried in shallow graves and stuffed into refrigerators and freezers in the home, as well as placed in the garage.
The story attracted some national attention, with many sharing it across social media. It is not the first allegation of animal cruelty to find viral attention in recent weeks. In February, a Louisiana woman named Madeline Bourgeois was arrested and charged with animal cruelty for allegedly shooting her pet llama.
The police were called to the woman’s home on February 15 for a report that an animal was attacking its owner, and they arrived to find the llama limping in a field, KATC reported. The woman claimed that the animal attacked her while she was working in her pasture, causing her to repeatedly strike the llama before fleeing through a gate.
But police say the woman went back to her house to get her gun, then returned to shoot the llama three times. Because the animal was no longer a threat to her, police charged the woman with animal cruelty.
“According to the law, Bourgeois had every right to defend herself while being attacked but was no longer in danger after escaping the pasture,” said the local sheriff.
“Ms. Bourgeois retrieved a gun and then returned and shot the llama, which constitutes the charge of felony cruelty to animals. Bourgeois should have called a vet or animal control for assistance.”
The llama was also removed from her home and taken to a local animal rescue center. As News 15 reported, the llama’s injuries were so serious that it had to be taken to the LSU Veterinary Clinic in Baton Rouge, where vets examined it and took X-rays that showed three bullets lodged in the animal.
In Minnesota, Caycee Bregel was sentenced to serve 200 hours of community service and will have two years of probation, including 90 days of electronic home monitoring. A judge also ruled that she must undergo a psychological examination.