A Yuma woman is facing animal cruelty charges after the Yuma County Sheriff's Office discovered 41 cats and two dogs on her property.
YCSO served a search warrant Monday morning at Jeanne Marion Pryor's home in the neighborhood southwest of Interstate 8 and Foothills Boulevard.
The warrant was issued in the wake of several complaints regarding a "foul odor" emanating from Pryor's home, as well as several cats on the property.
"The complaints also alleged the suspect lived outside her home in between the back yard [sic] and driveway," according to Sgt. Scott Bjornstad.
Deputies who went inside the 77-year-old's house found it to be in deplorable condition, covered in cat feces and urine.
"Spiders, cobwebs and bugs covered the ceilings, counter tops and cupboards," Bjornstad said.
YCSO called in reinforcements to wrangle the cats. Yuma County Animal Control, Town of Wellton Animal Control and the Humane Society of Yuma teamed up to seize the 41 cats and two dogs. Those animals were taken to the Humane Society of Yuma for treatment.
In addition to the live animals, deputies also found four dead cats in the house.
Pryor was booked into the Yuma County Detention Center. It was not immediately known if she has a history of animal hoarding.
"The term 'animal hoarding' refers to the compulsive need to collect and own animals for the sake of caring for them that results in accidental or unintentional neglect or abuse," according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. "Most hoarders of animals fall victim to their good intentions and end up emotionally overwhelmed, socially isolated, and ultimately alienated from family and friends."
ADAA says the problem is likely underreported "because animal hoarders tend to come to the attention of mental health professionals and animal control authorities only when others complain," as appears to be the case with Pryor.
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