Animal advocate cited for animal cruelty

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND)- A longtime animal advocate has been cited for animal cruelty, according to court records.

Beth Hughes, 57, has directed the CareVan pet program, which has provided spay and neutering services for animals in households that cannot afford them. A website for the program was offline Monday.

On Thursday, Decatur authorities filed an animal cruelty complaint against Hughes in Macon County court. Hughes had kept 25 cats and seven dogs in her home on East Johns Avenue as of May 19, according to the complaint. Macon County Animal Control Wardens and Sheriff's Deputies reported finding all the animals in "extremely unsanitary conditions with some having no access to food or water." 

Authorities confiscated the animals for their wellbeing, and four days later, the animals' owner agreed to surrender custody of them. 

WAND called a phone number associated with Hughes, but a woman who answered the phone said Hughes was unavailable for comment and was out of the area.

Hughes could face a fine of between $150 and $500. She is due in court June 27.

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