CHANDLER, Ariz. — A woman was arrested after dozens of dogs were removed from her house weeks after a veterinary professional tipped off investigators about conditions of multiple dogs at a house in Chandler, Arizona.
The Chandler Police Department said on Friday they got information from a veterinary professional about the conditions of three animals from a house in the 1700 block of East Kesler Lane. The information provided to officers led to a search warrant to be served at the house for a welfare check.
Officers were met with a bad odor at the house and requested that a hazardous material team come out, KTVK reported.
“We wanted to ensure there weren’t hazardous fumes occurring at the residence with first responders inside a very small home, so that’s why they were requested to ensure that everybody was safe inside the home,” said Chandler Police Sgt. Emma Huenneke told the news outlet.
Once the officers made their way into the house, the Arizona Humane Society assisted and removed 55 dogs from the house, police said. The organization also took custody of the animals. According to KSAZ, some of the 55 dogs may have to be euthanized based on their conditions.
Court documents obtained by KNXV said that most of the dogs recovered from the house needed medical attention immediately due to a variety of injuries, from dragging themselves around or from neurological issues.
Five deceased puppies were reportedly found in the freezer, according to court paperwork obtained by the news station.
Police identified the homeowner as April McLaughlin. She was arrested and charged with 55 counts of animal abuse-neglect, 55 counts of cruelty to animals-failure to provide medical care, and one count of vulnerable adult abuse.
McLaughlin was reportedly tied to an animal rescue called Special Needs Animal Welfare League, KNXV reported.
The vulnerable adult charge came from McLaughlin’s mother who lived at the house, prosecutors said, according to KTVK.