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Fort Wayne cat hoarders sent to prison

FORT WAYNE – A man and woman who both admitted to hoarding more than 100 cats in two different homes – one of which was essentially made unlivable by the animals – were sentenced by an Allen Superior Court judge to prison time Monday.

Constance J. Anderson, 50, and Jeffrey G. Tourney, 45, each were ordered to serve 1 1/2 years behind bars for allowing one home to be destroyed and another to be seriously damaged because of the animal hoarding.

Allen County prosecutors charged Anderson and Tourney with two felony counts of criminal mischief and five misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals earlier this year. The pair then pleaded guilty this month to all charges against them without a plea agreement.

According to Allen Superior Court documents and testimony Monday, a home the pair rented was so overwhelmed by cats that Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control officers could not spend more than a few minutes inside when they arrived at the home in March.

Feces covered every surface of the home, valued at $45,000, and in some places was 3 to 4 inches deep, officials said.

Officers took 85 live cats from one home and 23 cats from another home the pair rented, according to testimony.

In the refrigerator and freezer of both homes officers found the remains of dead cats, which Anderson said were being saved for burial.

The cats were so neglected that they cannibalized their young, were subject to inbreeding and were unable to become social enough for adoption and had to be euthanized, according to testimony Monday.

Out of 108 cats found at the homes, five have survived and found new homes.

During a hearing Monday, Judge Wendy Davis sentenced Anderson and Tourney to three years in prison for the two criminal mischief counts and one year in prison for each animal cruelty charge, but ordered all the sentences to be served at the same time.

She then ordered that Anderson and Tourney serve half of the three-year sentence behind bars and the rest on probation.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

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