Rescue group: 5 dogs found dead were under care of president

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FAIRFIELD -

 A local rescue group says it was the organization's president who was supposed to be taking care of the five dogs found dead inside a Fairfield home.

Police say the remains of the dogs were found inside 37 Prince St. last week after the landlord became concerned over an odor coming from the home.

Bully Breed Rescue, Inc. posted a statement on its website that says in part, "It is with great sadness that we can confirm all five dogs on Prince Street were dogs of Bully Breed Rescue, Inc. under the care of President Heidi Lueders. Over the last 7 months, Ms. Lueders had previously communicated to members and volunteers that she had sent four of these dogs to a sanctuary and the fifth dog was in a foster in which she was monitoring. None of these dogs were known to be within the residence of Prince Street."

Police confirm they are talking with Bully Breed Rescue as part of this investigation. The nonprofit says the woman at the center of this case is one of their own.

MORE: Woman will face charges after remains of 5 dogs found inside Fairfield home 

Police found dogs still in their crates and say they appeared to be neglected. 

An animal welfare advocate who has been following the case is horrified by what happened.

"I can't comprehend what happened, but I do know that for somebody to have living beings in their care and to know consciously that they've been left to suffer and die a slow death that would take weeks if not months is deplorable," says Tina Bencze, an animal welfare advocate.

Bencze says it's important that other members of Bully Breed Rescue and similar groups shouldn't be discounted because of this case.

Police have not released the name of the woman who was living at the home where the dogs were found. Police have a warrant for the woman's arrest and say she's expected to be charged with animal cruelty early next week. They say they will not release her name until she's arrested.

A vigil for the dogs is being organized by the animal welfare group Desmond's Army. The vigil is set for Dec. 1.
 

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