Woman pleads not guilty to starving dogs to death

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) – The former president of a Connecticut dog rescue organization charged with starving five dogs to death has pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges.

The Connecticut Post reports that 31-year-old Heidi Lueders remained free on $50,000 bond after a court appearance Wednesday.

Police who went to Lueders’ Fairfield home last year said they were nearly overwhelmed by the smell. They say the windows were open and fans and air fresheners were placed about the house. Officers say the floor was covered in garbage and animal waste. The decomposed bodies of five dogs were found in locked cages. Police said they may have been there for nearly a year.

Her lawyer said “my client is far from being a horrible person.”

Lueders was the president of Bully Breed Rescue.

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