An Alberta woman’s dog hoarding problem could cost her a lifetime ban on owning animals.
As reported by the CBC, April Dawn Irving appeared in the Lethbridge Provincial Court this week after previously pleading guilty to four counts of causing an animal to be in distress in July. She initially had 14 charges related to animal cruelty, but most were dropped after her guilty plea.
Police charged Irving in 2015 after seizing 201 dogs from her Alberta home near Milk River.
The dogs were found dehydrated, starving and chained in the yard. Some were found dead, including one that was discovered on top of a TV.
Irving’s lawyer argues that his client has depression and being prohibited from owning animals would cause her “extreme distress.”
Irving allegedly started out with 18 dogs, but neglected to spay or neuter the dogs due to costs. As the pups began to multiply, her lawyer argued that she was unable to find owners and couldn’t afford to feed them.
This isn’t the first time she’s had her dogs taken away. CBC News reports that in 2010, police seized 80 dogs from Irving’s home in Saskatchewan. That resulted in a 10-year ban from owning more than two dogs at a time in that province.
A judge sentencing decision will be made in December.