SPRING GROVE – A Spring Grove couple were charged Thursday with animal cruelty after police found 17 Great Danes malnourished and living in animal feces at the couple's home.
Sal C. Messina, 40, and Patricia C. Messina, 43, were charged with 17 counts of violating owner's duties, a Class B misdemeanor. The couple also were arrested on outstanding DuPage County warrants that were unrelated to animal cruelty, McHenry County Undersheriff Andrew Zinke said.
Police wearing protective suits, glasses, masks and gloves because of the large amounts of animal excrement searched the couple's home, 7206 S. Solon Road, and recovered the Great Danes. Nine of the canines tested positive for giardia, a parasite that can be passed onto humans.
All of the rescued dogs are undergoing testing and treatment for the parasite and malnutrition, police said.
The investigation is ongoing, and more charges are expected to be filed, police said. McHenry County Animal Control, the Sheriff's Office, and the Spring Grove police all participated in the investigation.
– Stephen Di Benedetto