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A Mount Clemens woman whose eviction led to the discovery of 86 cats in her home last month has been charged with animal cruelty, authorities announced Monday.

The woman, 62, whose name wasn't released by officials, was charged with animal cruelty of 25 or more animals, which is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

A warrant has been issued for the woman, who, after her eviction, was hospitalized as officials sought to have her condition evaluated.

"It breaks your heart," said Eric Smith, Macomb County prosecutor. "We will prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law."

The investigation began March 28 when the woman was being evicted from her home on Roseview Boulevard.

After discovering 86 cats and a dog in the home, Macomb County Animal Control contacted the Macomb County Sheriff's Office.

Most of the cats were sick and not healthy enough to be adopted, said the Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said the case was unfortunate: for the cats not properly cared for, for the homeowner unable to keep up with the animals, and residents who were forced to live near the infested location.

"It is a sad situation for all parties," said Wickersham. "It is in these cases that law enforcement must step in to protect everyone involved."

The Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate the case, he said.

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