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.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Mesa homicide suspect arrested in connection to Feb. 4 murder...

Mesa police arrest man accused of fatally stabbing a victim in his apartment

A Mesa homicide suspect has been arrested, police announced on Wednesday. Mario Ortiz Jr. allegedly killed a 29-year-old man on Feb. 4.

3 hours ago

Kari Lake's many jabs at John McCain; daughter reacts...

Serena O'Sullivan

Kari Lake is ‘delusional’ for backpedaling on her anti-John McCain rhetoric, Meghan McCain says

Kari Lake told Barry Markson on Monday her many jabs at John McCain were jokes. Meghan McCain told KTAR on Wednesday she isn't buying it.

5 hours ago

Lester Paul Richmond was arrested in Alabama on Feb. 16, 2024, on animal cruelty charges. (Pike Cou...

Scottsdale man accused in animal cruelty case arrested in Alabama

A Scottsdale man accused in an animal cruelty case was arrested Friday in Alabama, authorities said.

8 hours ago

Split image of Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell, left, and Manhattan District Attorney Alvi...

Kevin Stone

Maricopa County’s top prosecutor at odds with Manhattan DA over violent crime suspect

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is accusing metro Phoenix’s top prosecutor of “playing political games” with a high-profile violent crime suspect.

9 hours ago

A look inside the South Concourse terminal expansion at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizo...

Kevin Stone

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport debuts new terminal in time for spring travel season

After 18 months of construction, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport’s terminal expansion project is complete in time for the spring travel season.

10 hours ago

John Holmberg Amazing Arizonans KTAR News 92.3 FM...

Mike Broomhead

Amazing Arizonans: Radio host John Holmberg dishes on voice work, stand-up comedy, more

Longtime Valley radio host John Holmberg is the latest guest on Mike Broomhead's Amazing Arizonans podcast, which celebrates greatness.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 


Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

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