Woman accused in 5 dog deaths may have violated judge’s conditions

Posted: Updated:
BRIDGEPORT -

A former animal rescue president accused in the deaths of five dogs was back in court Thursday and could possibly face more legal trouble.

A judge told Heidi Lueders that she has until her next hearing to produce a prescription from a doctor to explain why she had pills in her system during a court mandated drug test.

Lueders' attorney also requested time for a psychiatric evaluation during the hearing. He previously filed a motion that he intends to use his client's mental disease or defect as a defense.

Lueders previously ran Bully Breed Rescue, which has dissolved since her arrest. Police in Fairfield discovered five dogs starved to death inside the home she was renting in November.

Each dog was found in a cage with a collar still on. Police also found piles of garbage, feces and drug paraphernalia inside the home. It's estimated they had been dead between two to 10 months.

The case led to outrage in the community and beyond. Animal advocates say they've made it a point to show up to each of her hearings.

"We want to shine a light on it and make sure people don't forget that she killed these dogs, and they suffered, and she deserves punishment," says animal advocate Tina Bencze.

Lueders is facing five counts of felony animal cruelty, along with a charge of criminal damage to a landlord's property.

She is scheduled for another court appearance on May 31. Her attorney had no comment following the hearing.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."