Caycee Lynn Bregel, 26, the owner of Minnesota Animal Rescue, was sentenced to two years probation
A Minnesota woman pleaded guilty Friday to 13 counts of mistreatment of animals in connection with the death of more than 60 cats.
Caycee Lynn Bregel, 26, the owner of Minnesota Animal Rescue, was sentenced to two years probation, 200 hours of community service and 90 days of electronic home monitoring. Bregel must also pay restitution to the Humane Society and her former landlord and undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
“The abuse and mistreatment of animals in the manner that occurred in this instance was unconscionable,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
The case came to light last April 2018 when a pig Bregel was taking care of got loose at the home she was renting in Castle Rock Township, near Farmington. While outside the home, a deputy was “able to smell an overpowering odor of animal urine and feces coming from inside of the residence,” according to a criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE.
Authorities returned again on May 9 and found 20 to 30 uncaged cats and five to eight dogs running loose. The home had an “overwhelming odor of urine and feces” and the floors, walls and windows “were covered in animal excrement.” The conditions inside the home “were so poor that the home may be condemned,” the complaint states.
According to the complaint, cat carcasses were discovered scattered across the backyard and some of the animals were buried in shallow graves.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
The following day, on May 10, police entered the home again with a search warrant and found “deceased animals in freezers and refrigerators” and 64 dead cats, 35 of which were “stored in the garage in various stages of decomposition.”
Forty-three cats, several dogs and a guinea pig were rescued. However, because some of the cats were in such poor condition they had to be euthanized.
Bregel’s attorney could not be reached for comment.