Elderly cat hoarder arrested, charged

May 24, 2012 at 8:43 PM

WITTMAN, Ariz., May 24 (UPI) -- An 81-year-old woman was arrested in Arizona and faces 26 counts of animal neglect and cruelty charges, police said.

Police arrested Lucienne Touboul Wednesday while investigating an animal cruelty case, KTVK-TV, Phoenix, reported.

"We went in there; our eyes are watering. Think about what that does if you have an upper respiratory infection, where your sinuses are congested and your eyes on congested with conjunctivitis," said Nancy Bradley with the Arizona Humane Society.

"If they're testing positive for leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, some of these fatal diseases, they've all been exposed and we're going to have to make some hard decisions," Bradley said.

Touboul, an animal hoarder, was wanted on an outstanding warrant from a previous animal cruelty case in June 2010. At that time, deputies said they found nine dead cats in Touboul's freezer, which the woman admitted to making a cat stew with.

Deputies had a veterinarian evaluate 64 cats from Touboul's home Wednesday.

In response to Touboul's case, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said, "I found myself thinking that in 50 years of law enforcement, I've never heard of a case quite like this where an animal lover presumably turns her much loved pets into stew."

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