A former animal rescue worker in Florida has been sentenced to a year behind bars for hoarding dozens of cats and leaving them to starve.
In a plea deal, Cheryn Smilen, 56, copped to six counts of animal cruelty and accepted a sentence of 364 days in the slammer — to be followed by 15 years of probation, the Miami Herald reported.
The Northeast Miami-Dade woman also will be forbidden from owning or trying to rescue any more animals.
“You have to stay away from animal-rescue organizations,” Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Alberto Milian told her during a hearing Monday.
“You really got a just sentence. There is no reason to believe these animals didn’t suffer a great deal,” he added.
Police responded to Cheryn Smilen’s home in 2018 in response to a foul odor and discovered the emaciated and malnourished cats.Miami-Dade Animal Services
“I know they did,” Smilen said, choking up.
Milian added: “It’s hard for me to believe how humans can