Missing animal abuser may be in Sask. after failing to appear on new charges

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January 11, 2017 - 7:26pm Updated: January 12, 2017 - 6:33am
April Irving has had nearly 300 dogs seized from her over 10 years and isn't showing up to court to face new charges in Alta.
Milk River RCMP
April Irving has had nearly 300 dogs seized from her over 10 years and isn't showing up to court to face new charges in Alta.

A convicted animal abuser is on the run from more charges, and she could be in Saskatchewan.

April Irving, 57, failed to show up for court in Alberta in June following the seizure of 200 dogs from her Milk River, Alta. property.

The dogs were emaciated and filthy, and rescuers called it one of the worst cases of neglect they had ever seen.

"When people manage to not show up for their dates, it's frustrating," said Kaley Pugh, executive director of Animal Protective Services in Saskatchewan.

Pugh is familiar with Irving after the woman was convicted in 2010 of neglect, when 82 dogs were seized from her Foam Lake, Sask. property.

She said Irving would routinely show up late for her court dates, sometimes by more than a day.

"There was certainly some predictability to her possibly not showing up," Pugh said. "They probably could have seen this coming."

She suggested Irving should have been remanded into custody by an Alberta judge, given her past.

RCMP have said they believe Irving is somewhere in Saskatchewan, Alberta or British Columbia.

Pugh worries she could be re-offending.

"People are likely going to do it again if they've done it once or twice already," Pugh said.

She added the problem is if the courts don't pursue someone like Irving, APS doesn't have the resources to track them down.

"We have four officers to cover the entirety of Saskatchewan," she said. "Do you go to the new case of starving cattle, or do you spend days and days trying to find someone to enforce a prohibition order?"

Pugh hopes that someone recognizes Irving and calls the authorities.

"Someone knows where she is, and isn't telling the right people," she said.

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