ARIZONA NEWS

Chandler woman in high-profile animal abuse case arrested on more felony charges

Jan 10, 2024, 3:47 PM | Updated: 4:12 pm

April McLaughlin felony charges for animal abuse...

April McLaughlin, 48, is facing a 24-count indictment that includes eight felony charges and 16 class 1 misdemeanors, officials announced Wednesday. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX — Police rearrested a Chandler woman involved in a high-profile animal abuse case on Tuesday, officials announced. April McLaughlin, 48, faces felony charges for animal abuse, according to court documents.

The Tuesday arrest wasn’t McLaughlin’s first time in cuffs. Chandler police also arrested her after a high-profile raid in September 2023, during which they extracted 55 dogs from her home near Cooper and Pecos roads.

Five of those dogs were in such terrible medical conditions that they had to be euthanized, according to the Arizona Humane Society.

The Chandler Police then rearrested her on Nov. 14. for charges related to the ongoing animal abuse investigation.

The department also submitted 77 misdemeanor charges to the Chandler City Prosecutor for review, police announced. She was released from jail as the investigation developed.

McLaughlin now faces felony charges for animal abuse

“Several weeks ago, we furthered the case to Chandler City Court to handle the misdemeanor charges, but it appeared to us that more needed to be done,” Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell told reporters during a Wednesday press conference.

Chandler leaders developed additional evidence that detailed the abuse the dogs in McLaughlin’s care allegedly went through, she added.

Some of that evidence included reports from veterinarians, which gave prosecutors proof that the dogs suffered from severe injuries, Mitchell said.

Thanks to this evidence, prosecutors were able to move forward with new charges.

“She is now facing a 24-count indictment that includes eight felony charges and 16 class 1 misdemeanors,” Mitchell said. “This is in addition to the 77 misdemeanors she already faces in Chandler City Court.”

McLaughlin is behind bars as of Wednesday afternoon.

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Chandler woman in high-profile animal abuse case arrested on more felony charges