MILFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The head of a northwestern New Jersey animal shelter is facing 18 counts of animal cruelty.

Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony Kearns III and state SPCA officials say Theresa Carlson, 84, of Milford failed to provide proper sustenance to nine cats at the Hunterdon Humane Animal Shelter. She faces up to six months in prison and $38,000 in fines and restitution if convicted.

Carlson was arrested Tuesday, but it was not made public until Wednesday. She was released on her own recognizance.

A telephone number for Carlson could not be located, and it wasn’t known if she had retained an attorney. The SPCA has filed legal documents to have her removed as the shelter’s director and president. A court decision on the petition is expected Wednesday, the prosecutor’s office said.

The charges stem from a joint investigation by the prosecutor’s office, the SPCA, the state departments of Health and Agriculture.”

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