After law enforcement officials received several complaints of a large pig running loose, investigators who arrived at the home made a gruesome discovery. Along with the pig, they found 43 live cats and multiple dogs, many in poor health. There was an “overpowering smell of urine and feces” too, but what they saw in the freezers was truly unnerving.
As investigators scoured the property, they found dead cats buried in shallow graves throughout the backyard. There were more dead cats in freezers and refrigerators, as well as in the garage.
In total, according to a report by the Daily Mail, 64 deceased cats were found throughout the property.
The house – which was located in Farmington, Minnesota, just south of the Twin Cities – was the home of 25-year-old Caycee Bregel. She ran an animal rescue nonprofit out of the property.
Bregel initially began fostering animals through the Animal Humane Society in 2017. Between April 27 and May 9, 2018, law enforcement had to respond to her rental home several times after receiving calls about a pig being loose.
During one inspection, authorities discovered cats inside that they described as being “skin and bone.” Along with unsanitary conditions, officers also found numerous shallow graves with dead animals in the backyard.
Upon returning to the home, investigators found a total of 43 living cats, 64 dead cats, five live dogs, one live guinea pig, and one live 400-pound pig.
At her business, which was also located in the Farmington area, law enforcement discovered another nine live cats, seven live puppies, and one live dog.
After the animals were collected, several were evaluated by vets at the Animal Humane Society and found to be in incredibly poor health.
On Friday, Bregel pleaded guilty to 13 counts of animal cruelty. She has been ordered to serve 200 hours of community service, 90 days of electronic home monitoring, and two years on probation.
Additionally, Bregel will be required to undergo a psychological evaluation. She is also barred from owning or caring for any pets.