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  • Writer's pictureColby Brown

Alleged Animal Abuser Arrested as Animal Activists Enraged

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

A major controversy has been brewing in internet animal communities after an alleged dog abuse operation has been exposed. A Chandler, Arizona woman named April McLaughlin has made headlines recently after being arrested following reports of dog hoarding and neglect.


When Chandler Police executed a search warrant of McLaughlin’s house on September 22nd, over 50 dogs were found in disturbing hoarder conditions, with another 5 found dead in a freezer. It’s reported that a number of said dogs rescued had to be euthanized.



McLaughlin ran an organization called the “Special Needs Animal Welfare League,” which had a logo and abbreviation incredibly similar to the “Special Needs Animal Rescue League” based in Canada. The name and logo were so similar that Fox 10 Phoenix mixed up the two in their initial reporting, as called out by SNARL themselves in a now deleted Instagram post.


2 logos, one from an alleged dog abuse operation called "SNAWL" and the logo for a legitimate dog rescue named "SNARL", shown together to showcase similarity.
The SNAWL logo side-by-side with the SNARL logo

Instagram post by animal group SNARL calling out a local news channel for a reporting mistake.
The now deleted post by SNARL showing Fox 10 Phoenix's reporting error

According to social media activists such as “@clydethesuperhusky_truth” and the Animal Rescue Mission organization, McLaughlin has been hoarding, abusing disabled dogs, and scamming clients for years. They also allege that Chandler Police and city officials have taken slow and improper action after months of reports against SNAWL.



April McLaughlin initially faced over 100 charges related to animal cruelty after her arrest. However, said charges have been dropped as Chandler Police ask the public for information related to dogs given to SNAWL, according to Fox 10 Phoenix.


McLaughlin has petitioned for the return of 47 rescued dogs, with a hearing about the case set for October 11th. Activists claim this petition was just done to stall the return of the rescued dogs to scammed and frustrated rescuers. This story is currently ongoing.


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