Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19724
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: cat
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Prosecutor(s): Karen Richards

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Thursday, Mar 1, 2012

County: Allen

Charges: Misdemeanor, Felony CTA
Disposition: Alleged
Case Images: 7 files available

» Constance Anderson
» Jeffrey Tourney

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

A Fort Wayne couple has now been charged with felony criminal mischief, after crews wearing haz-mat suits had to remove nearly 100-cats from a home.

According to the Journal Gazette, 50-year-old Constance Anderson and 45-year-old Jeffrey Tourney of Irene Avenue, are each charged with two felony counts of criminal mischief and five Class A misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

Court documents show the pair allowed the scores of cats to overrun two rental properties, including one on Elmer Avenue.

23-live cats and 21-dead ones were found in their other home.

Damage was estimated to be $64,000 at the Elmer Avenue home and $13,000 at the one on Irene Avenue.

Ammonia could be smelled as far as 15-feet from the closed home, which contained several inches of cat feces throughout, as well as the bodies of cats who had died.

The couple claimed the cats all came from one pair that continued to breed for six years.

Case Updates

Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards charged Constance J. Anderson, 50, and Jeffrey G. Tourney, 45, both of the 600 block of Irene Avenue, with felony counts of criminal mischief and several misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, and specifically used the language that the cats were "restrained" in such a way that their health and well-being was jeopardized.

On March 1, city officials received a call about multiple cats abandoned inside a house on Elmer Avenue. When officers from neighborhood code enforcement and animal control arrived at the house, the smell of cat urine was present more than 15 feet from the house and numerous cats were visible through the windows.

The house reeked of cat urine and decaying carcasses. It took days to capture all the living cats inside the Elmer Avenue house and many were found in poor condition. As animal control officials and others investigated, they found the inside of the house was covered in cat feces and urine. Most metal surfaces were rusted, and the thermostat showed 58 degrees inside the house, which had no gas.

They also found a cat skull on the kitchen floor, and inside the refrigerator, covered with a brown sticky substance, were the bodies of 13 dead cats, according to court documents.

On March 8, Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control officials told The Journal Gazette that a total of 98 cats were found inside the house: 84 living and 14 dead.

The couple's cat hoard at the Elmer Avenue house, which was ultimately condemned, caused $64,000 in damage. In a different house where the couple were staying at the time of the discovery, a new cat colony caused $13,000 in damage, according to court documents.

At the second location, 23 live cats and 21 dead cats were found, including dead cats in the freezer and bags and boxes of dead kittens were also found, with some of the kittens' bodies in pieces and others appeared to have been struck with a blunt object.

Anderson told investigators they did not contact Animal Care & Control because they did not want to get into trouble, according to court documents.

The cases against the two are pending, with a hearing scheduled for early August, according to court records.
Source: Journal Gazette - July 1, 2012
Update posted on Jul 1, 2012 - 6:13PM 


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