The woman at the centre of the largest dog seizure in Alberta’s history says she fears for her own safety following an onslaught of threats which have occurred online and in public.

Earlier this month, approximately 200 dogs were removed from an acreage east of Milk River. Court documents indicate five dead dogs were located on the property while the surviving animals were tethered in and round abandoned vehicles and farm machinery. The majority of the dogs were without shelter from the winter elements.

In an email to CTV, April Irving says she is devastated by the loss:

"We are family. I'm not a fool: I didn't want all of them, that's why I surrendered an amount of them. I had literally slaved 18 hour days a day to meet their needs, non-stop, every day. The officers know I fed them over 4,000 pounds of wild game the week before I surrendered them."

Over the past eight years, Irving has had a total of 319 dogs seized from her possession. In Saskatchewan, she has been banned from owning more than two dogs.

Irving says she had dedicated her life to animal care. She is unwilling to appear on camera over safety concerns. Since the dogs were removed, Irving has been threatened in public and online.

The seizure of the dogs caught Irving off-guard as she believed she had reached an agreement with the SPCA which would permit her to keep six animals. She was shocked to discover SPCA officials seized all animals from the property.

Irving has not been charged in connection to the SPCA investigation, as officials continue their review of the matter.

A lawsuit has been filed on Irving’s behalf against the SPCA for unspecified damages and to have the dogs returned.