APD: Woman accused of abandoning dogs arrested in Arizona

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The woman who is accused of abandoning six dogs, leaving five to die in an SUV, has been arrested in Arizona.

Albuquerque Police say Sara Mauter, 31, was arrested near Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona over the weekend.

Mauter has been wanted by Albuquerque Police since last week after she was named a suspect in an animal cruelty case. She’s accused of leaving five dogs in an SUV near Lomas and San Mateo

According to court documents, Mauter signed paperwork Sunday waving extradition to New Mexico.

The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office says Mauter was in Phoenix over the weekend when she was pulled over for a traffic violation on Saturday.

When Arizona Department of Public Safety officers ran Mauter’s license and the plate on the car she was driving, they found the warrant she had out of Albuquerque. 

Last Wednesday, employees at Rehm’s Nursery noticed the SUV parked along the street near the business. The SUV’s hazard lights were on.

“We all thought somebody… that their car had broken down,” said a Rehm’s employee, a day after the dogs were discovered.

By the time police showed up, the five dogs inside were all dead.

Police say the business’ surveillance video showed Mauter emerging from the SUV, then walking away.

Breeder Annette Rosenow says she hired Mauter through Craigslist to help transport the dogs to Texas. 

Mauter now faces five felony counts of extreme animal cruelty. While she will be brought back to New Mexico at some point, It’s unclear when she’ll appear in court to face the charges.

The case against Mauter isn’t the first time Albuquerque Police have dealt with her though.

In the last two months, Albuquerque Police have arrested Mauter twice on shoplifting charges at Albuquerque Wal-mart stores.

Lapel video shows the first run-in on February 16, 2018. When the officer asked Mauter why she stole items she said, “There were just things I needed, and I can’t afford to buy them.”

Mauter told police that she was from Ohio and had her car stolen along with all of the items inside of it. 

“We were just visiting family and we didn’t intend on staying here,” said Mauter.

In March, APD was called again to the Walmart on Coors near I-40 after employees accused Mauter of being caught shoplifting.

In February, Mauter told the officer, that she was “trying to find a job.”

Mauter is now accused of abandoning the job she was hired to do last week to transport several dogs to the Dallas area. She’ll now have to answer to those accusations in court.

While Mauter is being brought back to New Mexico, it’s unclear exactly when that will happen.

Mauter has criminal history in Ohio according to online court records, including an arrest for stealing drugs.

Albuquerque Police say Mauter was working with her boyfriend to transport the dogs. He’s not facing any charges though because he wasn’t with her when she abandoned the car.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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