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Woman With Over 90 Animals In Home Charged With Cruelty

Virginia  Dinucci

Virginia Dinucci

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WOODSTOCK (CBS) — Bond was set at $1,000 for a northwest suburban woman who kept nearly 100 animals — dogs, cats, rabbits and birds, some of them deceased — in a home until they were discovered late last month.

On Oct. 29, McHenry County Sheriff’s police found 55 birds, 19 dogs, 11 cats and three rabbits in the home in the 8600 block of Bull Run Trail in unincorporated Woodstock. Deputies also found a dead bird, cat and dog.

“The animals were dehydrated and hungry,” Debra Quackenbush of the McHenry County Department of Public Health said at the time. “I am not sure when was the last time they were fed. The animlas need proper care and we will monitor their health conditions.”

Deputies went to the home to conduct a well-being check after receiving a report that the homeowner had not been seen for several weeks and there was a strong odor coming from the house.

Deputies forced their way into the home, but found only animals. They also found feces on the floor throughout the home and no food or water for the animals.

“The animals looked dirty and unhealthy,” McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Aimee Knop said at the time. “There was no obvious sign of food or water. The residence was also dirty and unhealthy.”

On Wednesday, the sheriff’s office announced the arrest of Park Ridge resident Virginia E. Dinucci, for animal neglect charges of cruel treatment (three counts) and owner’s duties (12 counts).

Dinucci, 54, of the 1700 block of Pavilion Way in Park Ridge, relinquished the animals to McHenry County Animal Control. They have been evaluated, given medical attention, and are available for adoption at the McHenry County Animal Control and Adoption Center, a release from the sheriff’s office said. Many of the birds have been placed with sanctuaries.

Bond was set at $1,000 and Dinucci was released Tuesday afternoon after posting $100 bail, according to the sheriff’s office.

Undersheriff Andrew Zinke urged residents, “if you or anyone you know is in need of assistance in caring for their pets, we encourage you to contact the McHenry County Animal Control office and/or local pet adoption centers for guidance and advice.”

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)