Animal Rescuer Pleads Guilty in Hoarding Case

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2011  |  Updated 4:41 PM EDT
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Animal Rescuer Pleads Guilty in Hoarding Case

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An animal rescuer charged in connection with an apparent animal hoarding case pleaded guilty during her trial Monday after reaching an agreement with prosecutors in Prince William County, Va.

Janet Lynne Hollins, 52, once operated an animal rescue group called Janet’s Rescues and Placements. She was convicted in October of inadequate care of animals after police found 27 dogs and 50 cats roaming her townhouse in the Birchdale section of Dale City in August, according to InsideNova.com.

Hollins appealed her conviction and a new trial began Monday, but as the proceedings got under way, she and the prosecutor agreed on a plea deal. In exchange for a guilty plea to 40 counts of inadequate animal care, prosecutors are dropping dozens of other counts and she will receive three years of unsupervised probation. Animal control officers can perform surprise inspections of her home.

Hollins’s attorney said she would likely leave the county.

In an interesting twist, a member of the jury used a service dog so there was a dog in the jury box during the trial. Hollins approved the juror during jury selection, according to a commenter on InsideNova.com who purports to be the defendant’s sister.

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