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Woman who left animals in hot trailer gets probation

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Published:   |   Updated: July 9, 2013 at 10:44 PM

BROOKSVILLE - Frances Terry Evans, the Pasco County woman who left 53 animals in a hot trailer in May, will not serve any additional jail time.

Evans, 52, served 34 days in the Hernando County Jail. On July 3, Evans pleaded no contest to the 53 counts of cruelty to animals and was sentenced to one year of probation by Judge Kurt Hitzemann.

The State Attorney's Office was seeking a 280-day sentence in county jail, according to Assistant State Attorney Sonny McCathran.

McCathran said Hitzemann ordered Evans to pay $2,006.94 as part of her probation, the amount Hernando County Commissioners wanted to bill Pasco County on behalf of Hernando County Animal Services.

On May 21, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office responded to the Publix parking lot at Mariner and County Line Road after animals were heard "screaming" inside a U-Haul trailer.

Eventually, 50 cats - many packed into plastic containers - and three dogs were pulled out and taken to Hernando County Animal Services. Evans, as well as Pasco County code enforcement went to HCAS to surrender the animals.

Pasco County had an animal hoarding case against Evans and had ordered she relinquish her animals the day they were found just over the Hernando County line.

According to Hernando County Animal Services veterinarian Dr. Lisa Centonze, Evans' three dogs went to rescue groups. Of the 50 cats, only 11 were put up for adaoption. the other 39 were "euthanized immediately upon impound" due to health conditions.

"Of those 11, one went to rescue and the other 10 were eventually euthanized either for illness, space or behavior," Centonze wrote in an email. "No citizens stepped forward to adopt a single cat."

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