Woman fined $200 for keeping too many cats

A Liberty woman was ordered Tuesday to pay a $200 fine for harboring about a dozen feral cats.

A Clay County jury had convicted Annette Betancourt on Monday of creating a public nuisance. Betancourt, who was cited in October 2011, told jurors that she trapped the cats, fed them, paid to have them neutered and later released them.

Betancourt and her allies said the practice is widely accepted and designed to stem the population of feral cats.

However, Liberty prohibits residents from owning more than four cats or dogs at a time. Neighbors complained about the large number of cats she kept outside her home.