A Hendersonville woman using a rented truck to haul more than 40 animals — some dead, some sick and dehydrated — was arrested yesterday near St. Louis.

Evelyn Pool, 61, was charged with four counts of animal neglect. Pool was being held in Missouri in lieu of $15,000 bond. The animals were taken to a local animal shelter there.

St. Genevieve County sheriff's officials stopped Pool about 11 a.m. after they received reports that her driving appeared to be impaired because of the load of animals.

A horrid smell wafted from the cab of the rental truck, where there were 12 dogs of different sizes and breeds, said Capt. Mark Maples of the St. Genevieve Sheriff's Department.

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''When we stopped her, her clothes were soaked in urine and animal feces,'' Maples said. ''There were dead dogs under the seat that were decaying. The smell was something awful. It was not a pretty sight.''

Deputies found more than 40 dogs, along with cats, rabbits and a pet rat, in the back of the truck. The animals had no food or water, and there were up to four dogs in one small cage, they said. Several animals also were found dead in their cages, and one dog was found dead under the driver's seat of the vehicle