May 10, 2019 7:31 pm

April Irving, accused in Alberta animal cruelty case, released on bail under strict conditions

Irving faces 13 counts of animal cruelty, dating back to 2015. Danica Ferris has more.

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A woman who’s been at the centre of one of Alberta’s largest animal seizures has been granted bail.

April Irving is facing 13 counts of animal cruelty after more than 200 dogs were seized from a property near Milk River in 2015.

READ MORE: April Irving, woman at centre of animal cruelty case reportedly in Jamaica


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After the first charges were laid, the 59-year-old reportedly fled to Jamaica. Irving was found back in Canada in January this year, where she was arrested in Manitoba and has remained in custody since. However, on Friday, Irving was released on $1,000 bail.

Irving appeared in provincial court in Lethbridge on Friday via CCTV, where her lawyer submitted two applications before the judge on Friday for a publication ban and for the exclusion of the public from the courtroom. The defence cited death threats and client safety as reasons behind those requests. However, both bans were denied by the judge.

The judge also made it known to the courts that Irving’s release comes with strict conditions including that she must live under supervision in Milk River, she must attend court when scheduled, and she cannot be the primary caregiver of any animals.

READ MORE: Alberta woman at centre of animal cruelty case arrested in Manitoba

In April, Irving was deemed mentally fit to stand a trial, although the dates of the trial are still to be set.

Deanna Thompson, executive director of Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS), said she hopes to see justice for the animals rescued from the property almost four years ago.

“What we’re hopeful to see in the coming months is a trial that we can get to the bottom of this and justice for these dogs and be able to put it behind us.”

AARCS helped rehome and care for some of the animals found on the Milk River property in 2015, and Thompson said she hopes to see the case come to an end soon.

“We’re looking forwards to the conclusion of it and we’re hoping there will be justice for these animals,” Thompson said.

Irving’s case will be back in court on May 27th.

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