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Liberty Woman Sentenced in Case of Too Many Cats

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LIBERTY, Mo. — A Liberty woman found guilty of owning too many cats was sentenced to pay a $200 fine on Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Anne Betancourt  broke the law in the amount of cats she owned, but Betancourt claimed she was just helping to cut down on the feral cat population in Liberty.

Betancourt was charged with owning 12 cats — the limit is four in Liberty. But Betancourt said she only owned four cats, and was instead trapping the feral cat population living in the woods near her home, taking them to a shelter to be spayed and neutered and then re-releasing them back into the woods.

Betancourt said that she is upset that her efforts to control the wild cat population near her home resulted in a trial.

“These aren’t my cats,” said Betancourt. “I’m just spaying and neutering them, otherwise there would be 100 cats in this area. I don’t want that either.”

Authorities said they are simply enforcing the law — currently, Liberty traps and then euthanizes wild cats. Betancourt said she had hoped to change the law by taking her case to court.

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