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Pa. couple with rotting cats fined, forfeit pets

By jim Published: April 23, 2009

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania couple have each been fined $520 for animal cruelty and must forfeit all pets found when humane officials also found eight decaying cats in their home.

Joyce and Tim Swaney, of Uniontown, were found guilty earlier this month of 36 animal cruelty citations. But they dodged conviction on more serious misdemeanor cruelty charges because the dead cats were too decomposed to determine how they died and be used as evidence.

The couple were charged after humane officers found eight dead cats, and a number of living animals in their home, including rabbits, ferrets, a dog and at least 14 other cats.

Prosecutors say the couple are too poor to make them repay a local shelter that has spent $80,000 caring for the seized animals.

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