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Woman arrested in death of 5 dogs in Fairfield

January 16, 2019

FAIRFIELD - A woman accused of five counts of animal cruelty has turned herself into Fairfield police on Tuesday.

Heidi E. Lueders, 31, who formerly resided on Prince Street in Fairfield, and now resides in New Canaan, was arrested on five counts of cruelty to animals and criminal damage to a landlord’s property by a tenant.

Her arrest stems from the discovery on Nov. 14, 2018 of five canine remains, in crates inside the house.

Lueders was the president of a rehabilitation nonprofit for pit bull dogs.

The remains were removed after a search warrant for the residence was conducted.

The remains, for the most part, were just bones,” Capt. Robert Kalamaras said shortly after the discovery. “The conditions inside the home were pretty deplorable with dog feces throughout the entire house. The smell inside the place was pretty bad because of that and the state of decomposition of the animals’ bodies.”

Lueders, according to New Canaan-based Bully Breed Rescue, was housing five dogs from the nonprofit at her home.

“After recognizing the address, we all immediately began cooperating with local police and detectives,” said Vice President Chris Antolini on Bully Breed Rescue’s main webpage. “It is with great sadness that we confirm all five dogs on Prince Street were dogs from Bully Breed Rescue, Inc., under the care of President Heidi Lueders.”

According to Antolini’s statement made last fall, Lueders told the group she sent four of the dogs to a sanctuary and another dog to a foster home that she was supposedly monitoring. The statement said she had the dogs for the last seven months.

Fairfield police obtain a warrant for Lueders’ arrest on Nov. 29. Detectives then began coordinating the terms of her surrender.

Lueders was released after posting a $50,000 court set bond. She is scheduled to appear in Bridgeport Superior court on Jan. 29.

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