Lake County prosecutors say the operator of a shuttered Deer Park kennel where authorities found several dead dogs will officially face 32 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals.
In addition, the attorney for Diane Eldrup withdrew from the case at the start of court Tuesday, and other issues expected to be before the court were delayed until Eldrup finds a new attorney or is appointed a public defender, Lake County Assistant States Attorney Mike Mermel said.
She is due back in court Jan. 11, Mermel said.
Eldrup was arrested Dec. 17 at the former Muddy Paws Dog Rescue, 20429 N. Rand Road, after authorities and the woman's estranged husband found 17 dead dogs on the property.
Four dogs and two cats were saved from the former shelter, and are being nursed back to health by the Lake County Animal Control, Mermel said.
Mermel said a motion asking Eldrup to forfeit the surviving dogs and cats and to place the animals in foster homes was also delayed after Eldrup's attorney dropped out, Mermel said.
Eldrup, who was originally charged with four counts of aggravated cruelty to animals when she was arrested, is free on bond after posting the required 10 percent of her $250,000.
Authorities became aware of conditions at Muddy Paws when Eldrup's estranged husband discovered the dead dogs while trying to retrieve some of his belongings at the former shelter. He contacted authorities, who later arrested Eldrup.
Eldrup faces up to five years in prison if convicted on all counts in the case, Mermel said.