Arrest warrant details conditions of Fairfield home in animal abuse case

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FAIRFIELD -

News 12 has obtained the arrest warrant for Heidi Lueders, the woman who has been charged with animal cruelty after five dead dogs were found inside her Fairfield home.

The warrant details how each dog was locked in a cage and decomposed to mostly bones with their collars still on. Tests revealed that the dogs had been dead for two to 10 months.

The pitbulls have now become known to the community as 'The Fairfield Five.'

In the warrant, police described a terrible smell coming from the home on Prince Street writing, "Windows in the house were ajar and there were fans and several air fresheners placed about the house. The amount of animal feces and garbage that covered the floor was indescribable. In some of the rooms, there was so much feces on the floor the carpet could not be seen."

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Lueders had rented the home since September 2017. She was the president of Bully Breed Rescue, which recently dissolved.

Police interviewed the organization's vice president. In the warrant they describe the vice president as "distraught by the whole situation" saying "she never would have thought Lueders would neglect or abuse animals."

The vice president told police Lueders "would constantly have a new and apparently legitimate story as to what was going on with the dogs." However, she says Lueders started to go downhill mentally last February when her personal dog died. She says, "Lueders became despondent and seemed to be taking extra money out of the checking account."

The vice president also recalled that "Lueders admitted to abusing pills and once said 'she ran out so she needed to do something else.'"

The arrest warrant shows police found drug paraphernalia in the home, and a family member told officers Lueders was in a rehab facility and was OK.

A search of the house also turned up two fish tanks with a small unidentified skeleton in each.

Court documents show the Fairfield Health Department responded to a report by neighbors of a horrible smell coming from the home last summer. News 12 is told officials never went inside and just walked around the property and determined the calls were unfounded.

Lueders will be arraigned Feb. 13.

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