A Montgomery County, Pa. woman has pleaded guilty to fourteen summary counts of animal cruelty after 37 cats and kittens were found dead inside her Blue Bell home last month.

KYW’s Brad Segall reports that Patricia Wiehler, of the 800 block of Whitpain Hills Drive, was given four years’ probation, 400 hours of community service, and was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation.

SPCA officials call it one of the most egregious cases of animal cruelty they’ve ever seen. They say the animals were feeding on each other because they had no food or water for six months.

Montgomery County prosecutor Abby Silverman says the 50-year-old woman told police she left the animals unattended in the home to care for her ailing mother:

“That may be an explanation, but it’s certainly not an excuse.  My understanding is that she did move to care for her mother, but that was 25 minutes away — still in Montgomery County.”

Silverman says Wiehler showed no emotion in court as she pleaded guilty to the cruelty charges.  She could have faced ninety days in jail for each of the 14 counts — a total of almost 3½ years in prison.

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