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Animal rescuer faces multiple cruelty charges

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New York State News New York State News

BETHEL, N.Y. (AP) - A 71-year-old woman running what she called an animal rescue organization is facing dozens of animal abuse charges after the Sullivan County Sheriff's office found 44 cats and nine other animals living in filthy cages at her property.

Gloria Smith, a retired nurse, was arrested Wednesday at her organization, Bennie's Buddies.

Undersheriff Eric Chaboty tells the Middletown Times Herald-Record that people think they're sending an unwanted pet to live the good life in the country, but the opposite is true.

Smith has been arrested four times on cruelty charges since a 2006 fire at her home killed 48 cats and dogs.

Police said Bennie's Buddies received much of its support from New York City residents.

Smith was arraigned in town court and released pending a future appearance.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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