Posted for: Willie Wonka, HMFWIC
An Arizona woman accused of animal abuse after authorities found 55 dogs living in squalid conditions at her home — and five puppies’ bodies stashed in the freezer — has been rearrested and faces up to 95 raps in the horrific case.
April McLaughlin, 48, was initially booked in September on dozens of charges related to the alleged animal abuse and neglect, but a bureaucratic snafu sent the case back to local cops, who ended up re-charging her with 77 misdemeanor counts last week.
Police have also submitted nine animal-cruelty felony raps and nine other misdemeanors against McLaughlin to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, although those charges are still under review, authorities said.
Officials began investigating McLaughlin on Sept. 9 when a veterinary professional reached out to them about the condition of three dogs being kept in her home.
Police ended up raiding the home and made the horrifying discovery of dozens of dogs living in their own feces with no water, authorities said.
During the search, police also found five dead puppies stuffed into a freezer, which was stored near the food for the other animals, officials said.
The animals were being kept in the home as part of the Special Needs Animal Welfare League, a shelter Mclaughlin ran.
The 55 dogs were removed from the squalid home Sept. 22, and five of them had to be euthanized, AZ Family reported.
Mclaughlin has denied the allegations levied against her shelter, and she told police during an interview that there was nothing wrong with how she stored the bodies of the dead dogs near the food.
Last month, 34 of the dogs were paired up with animal rescuers. The suspect is still fighting to get back 13 dogs.
McLaughlin posted her $1,000 bond and was released from jail Thursday, Fox 10 reported.