Wittmann, Ariz. (AZ Central) -- An 81-year-old Arizona woman again faces trouble for animal hoarding.
Lucienne Touboul was arrested Wednesday morning on suspicion of 26 counts of animal neglect and cruelty after it was discovered she was hoarding 64 cats, a Maricopa Country Sheriff's Office spokesman said.
The arrest comes nearly two years after authorities found Touboul with more than 104 cats in her home. Most of those cats had to be euthanized as authorities said they carried a feline virus.
Three years before that, a judge had ordered Touboul to give up all but a handful of cats.
This go-around, deputies searched Touboul's home and found 64 cats, Sgt. Brandon Jones said.
The cats were evaluated by a veterinarian and are being transferred to the Sheriff's Office Animal Safe House in the old First Avenue Jail, police said.
Deputies went to the home about 6 a.m. because Touboul had an outstanding warrant related to the incident two years ago.
In the 2010 case, the cats showed signs of severe respiratory disease, were severely underweight, and had ruptured eyes due to ulcers, Jones said. Nine dead cats were found in freezers. There was evidence that some of the cats were used for human consumption, he said.
Jones said Touboul admitted to police at the time that she would use the dead cats to make soup.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio issued a statement Wednesday saying that during his 50 years in law enforcement, he has never seen or heard anything so bizarre or disgraceful as eating cats.
Touboul in 2010 had told The Arizona Republic that she froze the deceased cats until a friend visited to help her properly bury them.
After the 2010 case, the Sheriff's Office notified Code Enforcement, Maricopa County Environmental Services, and Adult Protective Services, but Touboul refused help.
Jones said Touboul fits the profile of an animal hoarder.
Gary Patronek, who founded a research consortium in Boston to study animal hoarders, previously told The Republic that hoarding can be a coping mechanism.
He said animal hoarders often lack the insight to see what others do. They don't see the filth, dead animals and unlivable conditions obvious to everyone else.
Touboul previously told The Republic she was born in North Africa and that her husband and five sons were beheaded in Morocco years ago.
Her claim is unconfirmed, although Morocco underwent a violent nationalist movement in the 1970s.
Touboul moved from France and eventually to Arizona, where she worked as a nurse. She's lived in her Wittmann home for 13 years.
Touboul is in custody in the Fourth Avenue Jail.