MCSO: Woman hoarding cats for 3rd time in Wittmann

WITTMANN, AZ - Authorities have arrested an elderly woman accused of animal hoarding.

According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, a search warrant was served at the Wittmann home of 81-year-old Lucienne Touboul where 64 cats were evaluated by an veterinarian.

Spokesman Brandon Jones said this is the second time in two years deputies have been to the home after over 100 cats were found in July 2010 .

At that time many of the cats were diseased and dying, and nine were found frozen in the home's refrigerator.

Touboul reportedly admitted to using the dead cats for a "feline stew concoction," according to MCSO.

All the living cats had to be euthanized due to their conditions.

Three years before that, deputies found 70 cats in Touboul's home, with many of those having to be euthanized, while others were placed in foster homes.

Deputies worked with a local judge to try to prevent Touboul from owning any more animals, an order she has apparently defied.

In 2010 Touboul faced numerous felony animal abuse charges but Sheriff Joe Arpaio said she was too old to face a jail cell and instead asked deputies to work with local agencies to get the help she needs, both physically and mentally.

She had a warrant for her arrest from the 2010 case and was taken into custody on Wednesday.

Touboul faces 26 counts of animal neglect and cruelty.

The cats will be treated and taken to the Sheriff's Office Animal Safe House in the old First Avenue Jail, officials said.

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