Former animal rescue president accused of starving 5 dogs arrested again

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NEW CAANAN -

The former president of a pit bull animal rescue accused of starving to death five dogs was arrested for assault at a New Canaan home, police say.

Heidi Lueders, 31, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon on charges of assault, threatening and disorderly conduct following a domestic dispute at her home Tuesday night.

The police report says officers arrived there and found a family member holding Lueders down to prevent her from attacking other family members.

Officials say the family told police Lueders was "intoxicated" and "out of control." A family member also said she threatened to shoot them if the police were called.

Another family member had scratches on his body and his clothing was torn, according to the report.

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News 12 previously reported that Lueders was arrested after police found five dead dogs in the home she was renting on Prince Street. Officials say the dogs, known as the 'Fairfield Five,' were locked in cages, had decomposed to just bones and still had their collars on. She was charged with five counts of animal cruelty as well as criminal damage to property.

Police say they believe the dogs were starved to death.

Lueders had turned herself in to police earlier this month and bonded out. She had been the president of the now-dissolved Bully Breed Rescue, and her arrest sparked outrage in the community and beyond.

Lueders' attorney argued that Lueders had been the victim of death threats due to her previous arrest and that additional publicity might add to it.

Her bond was set at $10,000. Family members were seen in court, but it does not appear they bonded her out.

She will be arraigned on the animal cruelty charges Feb. 13.

 

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