A Pasco County woman who deputies say left 50 cats and three dogs abandoned in a trailer at a Publix in Spring Hill has been charged with dozens of counts of cruelty to animals.
The animals were turned over to Hernando County Animal Services, and officials said all of the cats were in poor condition, suffering from fleas, ear mites and signs of respiratory infection.
Officials said 11 cats were saved but the other 39 had to be euthanized.
According to Hernando County deputies who responded to a call Tuesday afternoon around 1:30 p.m. from Pasco County Code Enforcement officials, the animals were left inside a hot U-Haul truck at the Publix at Mariner Boulevard and County Line Road.
Responding deputies said they heard “screaming” from inside the trailer, and found numerous animals – in poor condition – in small plastic containers.
Pasco County officials said Frances Terry Evans, 52, the subject of an ongoing animal hoarding investigation, drove the animals to the store.
They said Evans left the animals abandoned instead of turning them over to officials as ordered by Tuesday.
The dogs – a black Labrador retriever, a geriatric chocolate Labrador retriever and what appears to be a dark brown/black Chow mix – will be evaluated.
According to the Pasco County jail website, Evans has been charged with 53 counts of animal cruelty, and she is being held on $26,500 bail.