Woman facing dozens of animal abuse charges after 55 dogs were removed from her home

CHANDLER, Ariz. (KPHO/Gray News) – Authorities in Arizona say a woman is under arrest and facing dozens of animal cruelty charges.

KPHO reports that a search at a Chandler-area home ended Friday night with more than 50 dogs being rescued from a reported animal rescue.

Police said they searched the home of April Mclaughlin after receiving information from a veterinary professional regarding the condition of three dogs.

According to officers, they could smell a foul odor when they arrived at the home and requested a hazardous materials team.

“We wanted to ensure there weren’t hazardous fumes occurring at the residence with first responders inside a very small home,” said Chandler Police Sgt. Emma Huenneke.

Authorities said 55 dogs were taken from Mclaughlin’s home after their investigation into the rescue started on Sept. 8 regarding animal abuse allegations.

Mclaughlin was taken into custody Friday night. She was booked on 55 counts of animal abuse, 55 counts of animal cruelty and one count of vulnerable adult abuse.

Huenneke said the dogs in the house were mostly mixed breeds and special needs dogs.

The rescue in question is called the Special Needs Animal Welfare League. Other rescuers have previously made requests to have it investigated.

A Texas rescue reportedly sent a dog named Butters to the Chandler rescue. But when the team saw pictures of the disabled dog looking thin, they went to investigate.

Mclaughlin said the allegations are untrue.