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The 53-year-old Bedford woman who had more than 40 cats removed from her home in June will have to reimburse the organizations that have taken care of the cats since they were seized, but won’t face any jail time following action in Bedford General District Court Monday.
Carolyn Creasy was charged with two counts of animal cruelty or neglect, one count of failing to vaccinate for rabies and one count of owning more than five animals within the city of Bedford.
The animal cruelty or neglect charges, with amended language that took out references to malicious intentional treatment, will be taken under advisement for two years by the court and then dropped, if conditions applied Monday are followed. The other two charges will not be prosecuted.
As part of the agreement, Creasy will have to pay $1,500 to the Bedford Humane Society and $2,000 to Angels of Assisi to reimburse those organizations for taking care of the cats that were seized. Creasy also is to undergo a psychological evaluation and will be on two years of unsupervised probation.
The animals were taken from her home—Creasy signed a release allowing authorities to take the 42 cats—following an anonymous call to police about the excessive number of cats she had in her mobile home on Woodside Court.
Creasy’s attorney, Philip Baker of Lynchburg, said Monday's agreement was fair. “Both sides care about the animals deeply,” he said.
Creasy will be barred from having companion animals in the city of Bedford. She does have a kennel in Bedford County where some animals are kept. A dog that was seized will be returned to her and can be kept there.
Baker stressed that his client’s desire was only to make the lives of the cats she was keeping better, having found them living out on the street in hardship. He emphasized Creasy had the “best of intentions” in taking in the animals.
Bedford County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Mark Robinette said he believed this was a case of “animal hoarding.”
“It’s not a case of malicious mistreatment (of them),” he said. “She had the best of intentions. A lot of animal hoarders have good intentions.”
He said Creasy’s evaluation will see if there is any need for treatment.
A city ordinance in Bedford limits the number of animals residents can keep at their home.