Calgary

Woman accused of hoarding dogs ordered to have psych assessment

An Alberta woman accused of abusing animals has been ordered to undergo a 30-day mental health assessment before she can apply to be released on bail, a judge said Monday.

April Irving will remain in custody until bail hearing

April Dawn Irving was arrested in Manitoba and brought back to Alberta to face multiple charges related to allegations of animal cruelty. (Milk River RCMP/AARCS)

An Alberta woman accused of abusing animals has been ordered to undergo a 30-day mental health assessment before she can apply to be released on bail, a judge said Monday.

April Dawn Irving, 59, faces 13 counts of cruelty to animals and one count of causing suffering to animals. She was also charged with failure to appear in court.

She was arrested in Manitoba in January and returned to Alberta to face outstanding charges related to 2014 allegations in Milk River, Alta. She's being held at the Lethbridge Correctional Centre.

Five dogs were found dead on a Milk River property, along with more than 200 neglected animals. Irving failed to show up to court in 2016 and was believed to be living in Jamaica before reappearing in Canada last month.

Last week, Irving asked to be moved to solitary confinement for her own safety, saying she had received death threats while in custody.

Irving has a history of animal cruelty. In 2010, she had more than 80 dogs seized from her property near Foam Lake, Sask., which resulted in a 10-year ban on owning more than two dogs at a time in the province.

With files from Lara Fominoff and Lethbridge News Now

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