February 20th, 2019

Judge orders mental review for southern Alberta woman charged with animal abuse

By The Canadian Press on February 11, 2019.

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. – A provincial court judge has ordered a psychiatric assessment for a southern Alberta woman facing multiple animal abuse charges.

April Dawn Irving, who is 59 and originally from Lethbridge, is to undergo a 30-day mental review at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre in Calgary.

Irving is charged with 13 counts of cruelty to animals, one count of causing suffering to animals and failure to appear in court.

She was arrested in 2014 after five dogs were found dead on a property near Milk River, Alta., along with more than 200 neglected animals that were dehydrated, starving and chained to stakes.

The Crown told court a psychiatric assessment is needed to see if Irving can be held criminally responsible.

Last week, she told a judge that she wanted to be put in solitary confinement because she has received death threats in jail.

She also asked to see an orthopedic surgeon or a doctor for a knee problem she said she suffers after a car accident in Jamaica.

A bail hearing is to be held upon completion of the assessment.

She is next to appear in court March 13.

(lethbridgenewsNOW)

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