Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco woman cited, charged with abandoning 53 animals in a U-Haul in Spring Hill

SPRING HILL — Authorities believe Frances Terry Evans thought she could fool Pasco County code enforcement officials by hiding a truck full of cats and dogs in Spring Hill. But her plan was foiled, and Evans now faces 53 counts of animal cruelty and has been cited for 53 counts of animal abandonment.

Evans, 52, packed 50 cats in plastic containers with air holes drilled in the sides and three dogs into the back of a U-Haul truck and attempted to hide them behind the Publix store at Mariner Boulevard and County Line Road on Tuesday afternoon.

The subject of an ongoing investigation into animal hoarding in Pasco, Evans planned to return for the animals after code enforcement officers conducted a scheduled compliance check of her home. But a tip to code enforcement had officers waiting in the parking lot to see Evans drop off the truck, then ride off with her husband in a second car, said Carol Clarke, a Pasco zoning administrator.

Pasco code enforcement officers called the Hernando County Sheriff's Office to report the abandonment. Deputies and Hernando Animal Services officers arrived and could hear animals in distress. They opened the unlocked truck door and reported it was very hot inside. There was no food or water for the animals, and they were in distress amid urine and feces, Clarke said.

Officers determined that the animals needed immediate veterinary attention. Because Pasco code enforcement officials refused to accept the animals, Hernando Animal Services officers located Evans and had her drive the U-Haul to Hernando Animal Services, accompanied by a deputy. There, Evans surrendered the animals.

Individual exams showed the cats were thin, infested with fleas and ear mites, and showed signs of infection. Most were not socialized. Managing veterinarian Lisa Centonze determined that 39 should be euthanized.

Rose Carlisle, a neighbor of Evans' Good Hope Lane home in the Pasco portion of Spring Hill, said Evans had tried to help out feeding homeless cats, but fell on hard financial times.

"(Evans) wanted to do the right thing but couldn't," Carlisle said. "The animals were her life. She loves them, but she couldn't afford to do what she really needed to do for them."

Clarke dreads the thought of what might have happened to the rest of the animals had officers not been tipped off to Evans' plan.

"You hear all the time what happens when somebody leaves an animal in a hot vehicle," Clarke said. "It's just a terribly, terribly sad story."

The 11 cats and three dogs saved are available for adoption.

Evans was arrested Wednesday and was being held in Pasco County in lieu of $26,500 bail; she also faces a fine of $26,500 on the abandonment citations.

Staff writer Alison Barnwell, news researcher Carolyn Edds and Bay News 9 contributed to this report.

Pasco woman cited, charged with abandoning 53 animals in a U-Haul in Spring Hill 05/22/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 10:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. One of the best places for investing in a rental house is in Tampa Bay

    Real Estate

    Two Tampa Bay ZIP Codes are drawing national attention.

    . If you're looking to invest in a house to rent out, few places are better than  ZIP Code 34607 in Hernando County's Spring Hill area, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
 file photo]

  2. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'


    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  3. Suspect in Maryland office park shooting is apprehended


    EDGEWOOD, Md. — A man with a lengthy criminal past who was fired from a job earlier this year for punching a colleague showed up for work at a countertop company on Wednesday and shot five of his co-workers has been arrested, authorities said. Three of them were killed and two critically wounded.

    Harford County, Md., Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler shows a picture of Radee Labeeb Prince, the suspect in the workplace shootings.
  4. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  5. The two Ricks tangle at what may be final debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — In what was likely the last mayoral forum before the Nov. 7 election, Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker started out small, discussing neighborhood issues like recycling and neighborhood funding. They ended tangling over familiar subjects: the future of the Tampa Bay Rays, sewage …

    Ex-Mayor Rick Baker, left, and Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, debated familiar topics. The Times’ Adam Smith moderated.