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Alleged dog killer collared in Arizona

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

This is one of surveillance images released by Albuquerque police in the search for the woman wanted in connection with the death of five dogs in a van. HANDOUT IMAGE

A woman accused of abandoning five dogs to die in a sweltering car in the Northeast Heights last week was taken into custody in Arizona over the weekend, Albuquerque police said Tuesday.

“Dog killer in custody awaiting extradition,” Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Simon Drobik said in announcing the arrest.

A warrant of extradition was signed on Sunday in Maricopa County, Ariz.

Michael Patrick, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office, said Sara Mauter was apprehended during a minor traffic stop in Phoenix on Saturday.

Mauter, 31, is suspected of leaving five dogs she was hired to transport to Texas by the animals’ owner in a locked and unventilated rented SUV behind Rehm’s Nursery and Garden Center in Northeast Albuquerque last Wednesday.

Temperatures reached 73 degrees in Albuquerque that day.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, temperatures inside a vehicle could reach 104 degrees in just 30 minutes in 70-degree weather.

The criminal complaint states a concerned employee of the nursery called the city’s 311 number and reported the incident to the Animal Welfare Department.

Hours later, police were called, but all the animals had already died.

Mauter faces five counts of extreme cruelty to animals.

A warrant was recently issued for her arrest regarding a March shoplifting case at an Albuquerque Walmart. Mauter’s address is listed in Ohio, where there is also a warrant out for her arrest for a drug-related charge.

The owner of the animals, Annette Rosenow, said she hired Mauter and her boyfriend, Shaun O’Donnell, to transport 11 of her dogs to Texas after they responded to an ad she had placed on Craigslist.

Mauter allegedly abandoned the vehicle containing five of the dogs, and Rosenow convinced Mauter and O’Donnell to drop the other animals off at a veterinarian’s office in the area. Those animals were unharmed.