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Minnesota animal rescue operator won't be charged for now after 60 dead cats, other animals found

FARMINGTON, Minn.—A 25-year-old Farmington woman has been released from custody after a search of her rental home where she ran a nonprofit animal rescue operation just outside of the southern Twin Cities suburb uncovered 60 dead cats and more than 40 other animals that were mostly alive.

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced Friday, May 11, that Caycee Lynn Bregel would not be charged Friday, and that the matter remains under investigation.

"We take claims of animal abuse very seriously. Further investigation is needed to determine the cause of these cats' deaths and who is responsible," Backstrom said in a statement.

Dakota County deputies executed a search warrant on the property Wednesday and arrested Bregel.

Sheriff Tim Leslie said his office will investigate the matter with the County Attorney's Office and Animal Humane Society.

The Humane Society has taken control of numerous live cats and other animals found on the property, authorities said.

The other animals included 40 live cats, five dogs, a farm pig, hamster and a dead rabbit.

Bregel called her operation the Minnesota Animal Rescue and her website said it was a nonprofit, all volunteer, no-kill animal rescue.

"Our rescue animals are housed in foster homes or at our Farmington sanctuary and can be introduced to approved potential adopters who complete an adoption application," said the website.

She said the organization "prides itself on providing rescue and relief for animals in the Midwest who are in most immediate danger" including those that face neglect, abuse, euthanasia lists at shelters, abandonment, medical emergencies or out-of-state animals at risk of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornados, fires, and flooding.

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