More cats seized from alleged hoarder's home in Wittmann

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Photo courtesy of Maricopa County Sheriff's Office By Jennifer Thomas Photo courtesy of Maricopa County Sheriff's Office By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
Lucienne "Lucy" Touboul By Mike Gertzman Lucienne "Lucy" Touboul By Mike Gertzman
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

WITTMAN, Ariz. -- Deputies with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office seized 50 feral cats Wednesday after responding to the Wittmann home of an alleged cat hoarder for the third time in five years.

According to Lt. Brandon Jones, sheriff's detectives were notified last week that Lucienne "Lucy" Touboul was in the hospital and had no one to care for her animals. 

Remembering her history of hoarding large numbers of sick cats, detectives responded to her home where they once again found a large number of felines living in the home and in need of medical attention, Jones said.  

Wednesday morning, sheriff's animal crimes detectives served a search warrant at the 84-year-old woman's home near Grand Avenue and Center Street and found cat feces and trash covering the floor.

Detectives had to continue the investigation in full protective gear, including respirators.

Jones said the cats were in various states of severe distress with major communicable diseases that could spread to humans.

The sheriff's office has removed 208 cats from Touboul's home over the past five years.

Touboul was court-ordered in 2007 to not keep pets after deputies found 70 cats in her home.

In 2010, detectives responded to Touboul's home and seized more than 95 diseased and dying cats. They also found several cats in her freezer. Investigators said Touboul told them that she makes a feline stew concoction, but she told 3TV that she took care of the cats and that she doesn't eat them.

"They died and I have a man who comes and cleans my house every Saturday. I put them in the freezer for him. He buries them," Touboul explained at the time.

Touboul was arrested in 2012 after detectives seized more than 60 cats that were malnourished, unvaccinated and ill.

Jones said Touboul is expected to face charges for animal cruelty, but at this time she has not been arrested.

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