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April 14, 2024

Woman on probation for animal cruelty still keeping animals despite judge’s order –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On August 5, 2023

WATSEKA, Ill. (ECWd) –

WATSEKA — The founder of a now-defunct nonprofit animal sanctuary in Thawville where hundreds of animal carcasses were discovered in shallow graves in 2019 is now keeping animals at her residence in Will County despite an Iroquois County judge’s order prohibiting her from doing so, an investigation by the Ford County Chronicle has confirmed.

Corinne N. DiLorenzo, 41, who lives in the Will County village of Crete, was sentenced in Iroquois County Circuit Court to a year and a half of probation on Dec. 20, 2022, after entering an Alford plea to one count of cruel treatment of animals, a Class A misdemeanor, as part of a plea agreement negotiated between State’s Attorney Jim Devine and her attorney, Robert Regas of Bradley.

In sentencing DiLorenzo, Judge Michael Sabol ordered her to not own or possess any pets or animals while on probation.

Despite that order, DiLorenzo has reportedly been keeping animals — including chickens and a pig — in the backyard of her home at 27007 S. Juniper Drive in Crete, according to Jodie Wiederkehr, executive director of the Chicago Alliance for Animals.

Wiederkehr last week provided to the Chronicle documentation of DiLorenzo’s possession of animals — including a photo taken on June 16 by another member of the Chicago Alliance for Animals, Mary Deetjen, that showed a pig and chicken on the property, as well as the minutes of the Will County Board’s monthly meeting on May 19, 2022, when the board granted DiLorenzo’s request for a special-use permit for the keeping of up to two swine at her residence.

A visit to DiLorenzo’s home by the Chronicle early Saturday afternoon confirmed the presence of animals there, as at least two chickens could be seen roaming around a shed in the fenced-in backyard.

A neighbor confirmed that DiLorenzo lived there and has been keeping chickens there. The neighbor said DiLorenzo at one time also had a pig, although no pig was seen there Saturday and the neighbor noted that he had not seen one there for some time.

Wiederkehr — whose organization exposed the deaths of hundreds of animals at the now-dissolved nonprofit Earth Animal Sanctuary that DiLorenzo operated and pushed for criminal charges against DiLorenzo — said that she and other members of her group have contacted authorities in both Iroquois and Will counties to report what they believe is a violation of her probation that should be enforced.

“DiLorenzo was convicted of cruel treatment of animals and has proven time and again that she is incapable of properly caring for animals,” Wiederkehr said in an email to the Chronicle. “Now that she is violating the conditions of her probation, she should lose the right to own any animals ever again!”

As of Saturday, there was no record of a petition to revoke DiLorenzo’s probation having been filed yet in Iroquois County Circuit Court. Meanwhile, neither Iroquois County’s probation director, Barb King, nor Will County’s probation director, Christopher Watkins, immediately returned a message from the Chronicle seeking comment.

DiLorenzo’s probation has been transferred to Will County, according to court records. However, Wiederkehr said she spoke last week with an official for Will County Probation Services, who said their department is not responsible for enforcement of DiLorenzo’s probation. According to Wiederkehr, the Will County official said they would forward information Wiederkehr provided to Iroquois County’s probation department. Wiederkehr said she then left a message with King late last week but had not received a response.

Suspicions about DiLorenzo’s keeping of a pig at her home were initially brought to the attention of Iroquois County’s King in February by a different member of the Chicago Alliance for Animals, who received a reply from King that said: “Iroquois County Probation cannot release information about clients to other individuals or agencies. I would suggest you contact the Will County Animal Control for verification of your suspicions about the pig.”

See the Ford County Chronicle to read the rest of the article (here).


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