An Arizona woman, April McLaughlin, is facing multiple charges after 55 dogs, many with special needs, were seized from her home, and five deceased puppies were found in her freezer. The police in Chandler executed a search warrant for McLaughlin’s home after receiving concerned calls and gathering information from the Arizona Humane Society (AHS) and a veterinarian who saw the dogs.
During the search, officers found several crates stacked with animals inside, sitting or laying on soiled puppy pads and towels. The dogs appeared to have no access to water, and most of them needed immediate medical attention, with severe neurological and mobility problems.
McLaughlin’s mother, who had moved in with her daughter after suffering a stroke, was found on the couch in the home and believed to be unable to care for herself. The living conditions were deemed unsuitable, with insufficient food and poor air quality.
McLaughlin, who ran an animal rescue called Special Needs Animal Welfare League, was taken into custody and booked for animal neglect and cruelty. She is also facing a charge of vulnerable adult abuse. The investigation began after multiple calls were made to the police about the conditions in McLaughlin’s home.
Neighbors reported a strong odor emanating from the house, attracting flies to their own homes. The smell and the sound of barking dogs were described as unbearable.
The animals seized from McLaughlin’s home are now in the care of the Arizona Humane Society. The conditions of the dogs range from no issues to severe health problems. McLaughlin has the option to request a seizure hearing within ten days, where a judge will determine if she is fit to have the animals returned to her.
The investigation into the case is ongoing.