IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — An Orange County woman accused of selling sick puppies through a fake pet rescue organization has been charged with animal abuse.

The Orange County Register reports (http://bit.ly/2nGkUsl ) that the Orange County District Attorney's office on Monday filed animal abuse charges against 42-year-old Megan Ann Hoechstetter. If convicted, she could face up to 12 years in county jail.

Prosecutors say Hoechstetter ran a dog adoption business and charged about $400 for an 8-week-old dog. She allegedly did not give the puppies veterinary care, though she knew they suffered from a number of infections. At least a dozen of the sold puppies died of illnesses.

The Irvine Police Department, which investigated the case, says nine puppies taken from Hoechstetter will be available for adoption on Wednesday.

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Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com