A High Springs couple accused of hoarding 697 cats have been arrested.

Pennie and Steven Lefkowitz, the owners of Haven Acres Cat Sanctuary, are each facing 35 counts of animal cruelty. They have bonded out of jail.

Alachua County Animal Services removed the cats from the sanctuary in High Springs in June in what is the biggest case of cat hoarding the Humane Society of the United States has ever participated in and is in the top three of the largest cat hoarding cases in U.S. history.

The cats were put in a warehouse that became a makeshift shelter. About 100 of them had to be put down.

The rest have been receiving treatment and are being spayed and neutered by University of Florida veterinary students. They will be put up for adoption in the coming weeks.

Alachua County Animal Services said the agency received calls from people who needed to get rid of their cats and left them at Haven Acres.


The agency said residents thought they were taking their cats to a "county club environment."

Pennie Lefkowitz said in June that she doesn't believe she or her husband are hoarders. She said they were just trying to help out as many of the cats as possible.

But she did admit that they may have gone overboard and acquired too many cats.

"I was just tired of seeing so much euthanasia and wanted to know what we could do personally, and he said Alachua County needed a cat sanctuary," Pennie Lefkowitz said in June.

She said they spent more than $33,000 on the shelter last year alone.