BROOKSVILLE — A Spring Hill woman who left 53 animals in the back of a moving truck last May will not spend any more time in jail. Frances Terry Evans, 52, pleaded no contest Wednesday to 53 counts of animal cruelty and was sentenced to one year of probation. Officials say Evans packed 50 cats in plastic containers with air holes drilled in the sides and three dogs into a U-Haul truck and attempted to hide them behind the Publix store at Mariner Boulevard and County Line Road. At the time, Evans was the subject of an ongoing investigation into animal hoarding at her home in Pasco County and planned to return for the animals after code enforcement officers completed a scheduled compliance check, officials said. Prosecutors sought a county jail sentence of 280 days — one week for each of the 40 animals that had to be euthanized because of their ill health, said Assistant State Attorney Basil Von Lashley. Hernando County Judge Kurt Hitzemann opted for probation in part because Evans, who spent 34 days in the Hernando County Detention Center before her release last week, does not have a criminal record in Florida. Hitzemann also forbade Evans from having pets during the duration of her probation, and she must pay $2006.94 in restitution to Hernando County Animal Services to cover the cost of euthanizing the animals and caring for the ones that survived.
Pasco County woman avoids jail time in animal cruelty charges
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