Woman accused of hoarding cats in Sunrise apartment, theft released from jail

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A woman who has been accused of hoarding cats at her Sunrise apartment and stealing money from an animal rescue group has been released from jail.

7News cameras rolled as Michelline Toulouse walked out of the Broward County Jail covering her face Wednesday night after she was granted a pre-trial release.

She is facing a theft charge, and she may be facing more charges, as she’s at the center of a controversy that has left her former colleagues and animal rescue group very upset and demanding answers.

Toulouse is accused of stealing cash from an animal rescue group with which she volunteered, but she’s facing many more questions about potential animal abuse and neglect. As she left Broward County Jail, she chose not to answer.

The rescue group, Saving Sage Animal Rescue Foundation, said the security camera inside their office captured Toulouse taking nearly $300 from a cash drawer.

Rescue workers said that a man, Toulouse’s boyfriend Jerome Junior Vaughn, was also seen in the video. He’s facing a petty theft charge.

Vaughn bonded out of jail early Wednesday.

Rescue workers said Toulouse’s theft arrest is secondary to what they discovered at her Sunrise apartment last week.

Dozens of cats — some sick and starving, others dead — were left abandoned for days, possibly even weeks.

“I just, I can’t comprehend it. Like I said, I haven’t been able to sleep,” said Kathy Bienick. “She’s not the person we knew, or we thought we knew.”

Last week, Toulouse posted on Facebook that she became overwhelmed, and her cries for help fell on deaf ears.

As she was released from jail, Toulouse wouldn’t elaborate on animal abuse claims or anything else and ran off.

In addition to the theft charge, Toulouse also faces a charge of criminal mischief.

Sunrise Police is handling the potential animal abuse and neglect situation. The investigation remains ongoing.

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