Charges of cruelty to animals have been filed against a former Vernal couple accused of leaving nearly 50 cats locked in a house for months.

Federick and Delores Overmyer were charged in 8th Circuit Court with 48 counts of cruelty to animals.Uintah County sheriff's Sgt. Jerry Cook said he found 20 dead cats and 28 others near death in a Vernal residence owned by the Overmyers. He said the couple apparently moved out of the house four months ago.

He said the cats that were alive were so sick they probably would be put to sleep.

Cook said the Overmyers were thought to be living in Colorado. He said they can't be extradited on the misdemeanor charges.