ALBERTA

April Irving, Milk River Dog Neglect Suspect, Has Past History Of Abuse

01/29/2015 03:22 EST | Updated 01/29/2015 03:59 EST
AARCS

As more details become known of the 201 emaciated, sick and dehydrated dogs seized from a rural property in Milk River, Alta., it appears the woman suspected of the neglect has done it before.

April Irving has been identified by several news outlets as the woman suspected of hoarding hundreds of huskies, Irish wolfhounds, malamutes and Komondors on her acreage in southern Alberta.

The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) is calling it one of the worst cases of neglect it has ever seen, saying some dogs were found with broken bones, gaping wounds and parasites.

And it's not the first time the owner has been suspected of animal neglect.

According to CBC News, Irving, 55, was found guilty in 2013 of one charge under Saskatchewan's Animal Protection Act, and the Crown alleged she was operating a puppy mill.

In that case, reports the Calgary Sun, investigators seized 82 dogs in desperate need of medical attention.

(WARNING: Slideshow contains graphic photos.) Story continues below:

201 Dogs Taken From Alberta Property

In 2007, the Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) seized 36 dogs from a kennel Irving was operating in Fort McMurray, reports CTV News.

She faced four charges under Alberta's Animal Protection Act.

"It’s very disturbing to know a person can (allegedly) do this on more than one occasion," AARCS Executive Director Deanna Thompson told the Calgary Sun.

SPCA officials told CTV News Irving surrendered 60 dogs to them in December of last year. Another 141 dogs were seized in mid-January after investigators paid another visit to the property with a search warrant.

The SPCA says the rescue is the largest seizure of dogs in Alberta history.

AARCS is caring for more than 60 of the animals right now, but hopes to farm another 20 or so out to other organizations.

So far, no charges have been laid.

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