updated 6/28/2010 2:00:29 PM ET 2010-06-28T18:00:29

The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that a police officer acted correctly when he seized 15 cats from a woman who was driving with the animals running free inside her car.

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In a 3-2 decision Thursday, the justices ruled that the felines were a distraction and interfered with driver Patricia Edwards' ability to see where she was going.

Chief Justice David Gilbertson said Edwards nearly backed into patrol car at a convenience store parking lot in Pierre, S.D., because of the herd of cats in her back window.

The court said Edwards and her cats presented a significant risk to the public.

Edwards was appealing a lower court ruling that transferred ownership of the cats to a humane society for adoption.

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