ST. JOHNS (WWJ/AP) – An assistant professor at Michigan State University’s veterinary school has received probation after authorities say they found 17 dogs and two cats in poor condition at her home.

Patricia Schenck, 55, pleaded no contest Friday in 65th District Court in St. Johns to misdemeanor malicious destruction of personal property. Schenck, who was originally charged with felony animal neglect, was also ordered to pay more than $10,000 in restitution and court costs.

Officials say the animals were found Dec. 12 at the home north of Lansing in Olive Township, where Schenck lives with her elderly parents. Police said they went to the house after getting a 911 call from someone who hung up.

One of the dogs had to be euthanized, while the others were distributed to local shelters for rehabilitation and to be placed for adoption.

Schenck was suspended with pay from MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where she worked as an assistant professor with a specialization in endocrinology, while the case was pending. Her current status with the university wasn’t immediately clear.

A no contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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