Illinois Woman Accused of Killing Hundreds of Pets at Her Animal Sanctuary After 'Bag Upon Bag' of Carcasses Found

A woman in Illinois has been charged with animal cruelty after the carcasses of hundreds of animals were discovered at the sanctuary she founded.

Corinne DiLorenzo, 38, was arrested on December 24, six months after "bag upon bag upon bag" of dead animals and bones were discovered in shallow graves at the EARTH Animal Sanctuary in Thawville by a former board member of the since-dissolved sanctuary.

An indictment filed in Iroquois County Circuit Court shows that DiLorenzo has been charged with one count of aggravated animal cruelty after allegedly intentionally causing the deaths of multiple pets, including dogs, cats, pigs, rabbits, birds, raccoons and turtles, between 2014 and 2018.

Jodie Wiederkehr, executive director of Chicago Alliance for Animals, told NBC 5 that they believe there are around 700 animals missing and presumed dead that were taken to the EARTH sanctuary.

Rescue shelter operators added DiLorenzo would bring animals to the sanctuary after receiving them from shelters around the Chicago area.

"We ultimately at the end of the day thought we were giving them a better life," said Lamor Gatenio, manager of a local exotic animal hospital.

DiLorenzo's alleged crimes came to light a former board member posted horrific photographs of animal carcasses on the sanctuary's Facebook page, which has since been taken over by board members and activists.

"There was 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," the post read. "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 of larger garbage bags as well as bags that contained multiple species of animals. We saw various states of decomposition.

"There were layers of animals and after about an hour of ripping thru [sic] bags with my hands, I couldn't do anymore."

The board member and two others originally entered the sanctuary grounds to give a welfare check on two pigs that survived a fire at a barn and duck house that killed eight pigs, six ducks, six geese and 20 chickens in September 2018.

Following the discovery of the carcasses, an online petition was set up demanding justice for the animals. It has since gone on to attract nearly 9,000 signatures.

"EARTH formed in May 2014, so most of these animals should have had a long life ahead of them, but there are none left at EARTH and almost every animal sanctuary/rescue in the midwest has confirmed that they had not taken animals from her," the petition read.

According to NBC, DiLorenzo was released from custody after posting 10 percent of her bail.

She is due to appear at the Iroquois County Courthouse on January 23.

The former EARTH Animal Sanctuary board member has been contacted for further comment.

 EARTH Animal Sanctuary
The carcasses of what is believed to be hundreds of pets were fond in bags on the grounds of the EARTH Animal Sanctuary in Thawville, Illinois. Answers For Animals