ANCHORAGE, Alaska — She's been called a cat hoarder, but an Anchorage woman convicted on several counts of animal cruelty says she tried to give stray animals a better life. District Court Judge Alex Swiderski sentenced 54-year-old Deborah Allen Thursday for mistreating several dozen cats and dogs.
Allen won't be spending any time in jail, but will be on probation for 10 years. Animal-rights activists say Allen's good intentions to adopt strays almost killed her animals.
The city removed 32 animals from Allen’s home last October. On Thursday, Swiderski ordered at least another 50 pets to be turned over to Animal Control as part of her sentencing.
The prosecutor, Herbert Viergutz, says Allen took on too many animals and couldn't take care of those she was trying to save. Several of them were skinny and sick, with lung congestion and coughs.
The animals have been kept as evidence for nearly a year at Animal Control -- but Allen claims the animals were in better condition under her care than they are now.
Both sides want the animals to find health, happy homes.
“Ms. Allen's rights to all of her animal victims should be forfeited immediately, thereby allowing all the animals at Animal Control a chance to find a new and loving home,” Viergutz said.
“I tell you, Judge, if nothing else, if you don’t have any respect for me or if you are going to give me jail time fine -- but please, please, please do not send my animals to Animal Control,” Allen said.
Swiderski told Allen she could no longer care for or own animals. He said with a mental evaluation and a recommendation from a psychologist, he might consider allowing Allen a few personal pets.
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