Earlier this week, a Pasco County jury found a Hudson woman Guilty of Animal Cruelty following her trial which took place in New Port Richey. For more details and the complete story, yesterday’s St. Pete Times had a nice write-up in the Pasco County section.
In a nutshell, the Defendant, Diane Lombardi, started out with just one (1) dog, an Australian Shepherd named Bear. Then came Susie, who was followed by Hank. By fall 2007, Lombardi had grown her collection to about forty (40) dogs. And when her sister (who was 64 and disabled) was admitted to a hospital, Lombardi lost any ability to control the dogs and the ever-increasing disturbance and unsanitary situation.
“I kind of got in over my head,” Lombardi testified Wednesday in her trial on forty-two (42) Misdemeanor counts of Animal Cruelty.
After deliberating for less than one (1) hour on Wednesday, a Pasco County jury found her Guilty, as charged, of all forty-two (42) counts.
Lombardi, 61, was eventually sentenced the following day.
She was looking at a potential county jail sentence as well as a long period of probation. To find out what Lombardi received as her sentence, please click the link for today’s St. Pete Times follow-up story.
Pasco County Assistant State Attorney (ASA) Kris Parker called the main living of Lombardi’s home a “despicable hell” — feces several inches thick, bugs swarming and an overwhelming, toxic odor. A veterinarian who examined the dogs found them all infested with fleas. Many were underweight and had worms and parasites.
Eventually, thirty-seven (37) of the dogs had to be euthanized and Lombardi’s house was demolished.
As “we” sometimes do, her lawyer called the situation “sad, but not a crime.”
“This is a case of someone doing her best,” Dennis Watson told the Pasco County jurors (who obviously did not believe him, or let that statement go in one ear and out the other).
As with many local stories involving Animal Cruelty, I’m sure this one will be up on PetAbuse.com in no time. While you’re there, make sure you check out the Animal Cruelty story on the Tarpon Springs kid that I sent to jail entitled: “Man who shot cat with arrow gets 30 days in jail.”