Arrest warrant issued for accused animal abuser April Irving

Arrest warrant issued for April Irving after failing to appear in court
WATCH ABOVE: A Lethbridge judge has issued an arrest warrant for April Irving after she defied a judges order to appear in court in person. Erik Mikkelsen reports.

LETHBRIDGE – An arrest warrant has been issued for April Dawn Irving after she failed to appear in court Monday for the second time.

Irving is charged with one count of cruelty to animals after five dogs were found dead on her property near Milk River, Alta., along with more than 200 neglected animals that were seized in Dec. 2014.

READ MORE: SPCA removes 201 emaciated and neglected dogs from southern Alberta property

The five deceased dogs were found along 201 neglected animals seized from Irving’s property in December and again the following month. RCMP allege the dogs died of starvation.

At the time, Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) executive director Deanna Thompson said the incident was one of the worst cases they had ever seen in terms of neglect.

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She said the dogs – a mixture of Huskies, Irish Wolf Hounds, Malamutes and Komondors – were in horrendous condition.

Irving’s lawyer provided medical documents outlining her medical condition, including a broken leg Monday. However, the court noted that the document said nothing about Irving not being able to appear before the court as ordered.

Irving has yet to complete a 30-day psychiatric assessment ordered in Nov. 2015, and her lawyers were applying to have that order withdrawn.

READ MORE: Accused Milk River animal abuser sent for psychiatric assessment

The defense had also intended to enter not guilty pleas Monday, but with the warrant issued those pleas and the assessment details will now be held until Irving appears in court, once in custody.