Illinois woman accused of killing over 700 pets at her sanctuary after aide finds 'bag upon of remains'
Corinne DiLorenzo was supposed to be taking care of the dogs, cats, goats and pigs at EARTH sanctuary
IROQUOIS COUNTY, ILLINOIS: An Illinois woman was arrested and charged after the carcasses of as many as 700 animals that she was supposed to be caring of were discovered at her now-defunct sanctuary.
Corinne DiLorenzo, 38, who had founded the non-profit Earth Animal Sanctuary in Thawville, around 100 miles south of Chicago, in 2014, has been accused of intentionally causing the deaths of multiple pets including dogs, cats, pigs, rabbits, birds, raccoons and turtles, according to NBC News.
The horrific crimes came to light after a former board member of the sanctuary, Melissa Pena, and two others entered the grounds for a welfare check on two pigs that had survived a fire at a barn and duck house that killed eight pigs, six ducks, six geese and 20 chickens in September 2018.
Instead, Pena came across hundreds of carcasses of animals they believed were living a good life at the sanctuary. A change.org petition was launched, calling for DiLorenzo to be criminally charged.
"On June 23, 2019, a former board member of EARTH Animal Sanctuary discovered nothing short of a horror story," a statement read. "What used to be a peaceful, final resting place for animals who’d passed on, is now a ghastly ditch littered with hundreds of animals in various states of decomposition, rotting in plastic bags and a mound of bones and skulls overlapping one life with another, carelessly tossed away like garbage."
It added that "most of these animals should have had a long life ahead of them, but there are none left at EARTH."
Pena shared their discoveries further in a graphically detailed post on the sanctuary's Facebook page and said they found an oblong-shaped "ditch filled with bag upon bag upon bag of the remains of dead animals."
"There were the remains of pigs that had been dragged out on a tarp or blanket and dumped in the hole," she wrote. "We saw skulls and bones of large pigs, medium-sized pigs, goats of various ages, cats, dogs, birds/waterfowl and rabbits. There were small bags inside larger garbage bags as well as bags that contained multiple species of animals. We saw various states of decomposition."
DiLorenzo was arrested on charges of aggravated animal cruelty on an Iroquois County warrant on December 24. She was released after posting 10 percent of her $10,000 bond and is scheduled to make her next appearance in court on January 10.