A Farmington woman has been charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty, three months after Animal Humane Society investigators discovered 100 mistreated animals at her home — including 64 dead cats.
After numerous complaints, authorities in May removed more than 40 live cats, five dogs, a farm pig, guinea pig and a dead rabbit from a single-family home in rural Dakota County.
Caycee Lynn Bregel, 25, who operates a local animal rescue nonprofit, was charged via summons with 13 counts of animal cruelty, one of which is a felony.
While conducting a search in May, investigators discovered dead cats in graves, in a garage and in a freezer.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom initially declined to file charges, citing a need to determine who was responsible for the deaths.
Officers dispatched to the home on May 9 reported an “overpowering odor” of urine and feces. “The floors, walls and windows were covered in animal excrement,” according to the criminal complaint.
The property owner renting to Bregel characterized the environment as unhealthy, noting that he observed no food and water for the animals and the cats were emaciated to “skin and bone,” charges said.
The Health Department condemned the house the next day.
Liz Sawyer • 612-673-4648