JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) – A Washington County judge has found a couple guilty of animal cruelty after authorities found their home filled with dozens of live cats and 29 pet carcasses in the freezer.

Albert E. Giles and Lynne Marie Giles each received 10-year suspended jail terms Tuesday for 33 counts of animal cruelty and 14 violations of the state rabies law. The couple will serve 100 days in jail and spend the rest of their sentences on probation, Sessions Court Judge Robert Lincoln ordered.

Lincoln also ruled that if the Giles are found with animals in their home again they will go to jail for at least seven years. The couple pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges in 1999 for keeping 48 cats in the house and have a similar record in Winslow, Maine, authorities said.

“I presume this will put a stop to this behavior,” Lincoln said. “If not, I want to make it clear that I intend to be around for quite a while and will personally rule on any violations of probation.”

Animal Control Officer Greg Tennar said he counted approximately two dozen cats in the house with many in portable cages. The next day, officials removed 28 frozen cats and one puppy from the home.

“The whole house is just one big litter box,” Lincoln said after viewing video shot at the home.

Of the 30 live cats removed, at least half have had to be euthanized, officials said.

Lincoln dismissed 29 of the 62 counts of animal cruelty because no cause of death was determined for the animals in the freezer.

“I find these people have tortured these animals, not counting those found dead. They may have suffered an even worse fate, but we’ll never know,” Lincoln said.

AP-ES-07-09-03 1707EDT

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