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updated: 3/23/2011 9:54 PM

More charges in Deer Park animal abuse case

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A Lake County grand jury on Wednesday approved additional charges against a woman accused of allowing the deaths of multiple animals in her care at a Deer Park shelter.

Assistant State's Attorney Michael Mermel said new counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and animal torture have been filed against Diane Eldrup, 48, after the bodies of two more dogs were found on her property.

Eldrup was arrested Dec. 17 after police found the corpses of 20 dogs, three birds and an opossum on the grounds of Muddy Paws Dog Rescue in the 2000 block of Rand Road.

Police said the animals apparently starved to death and were in many cases living amid tons of animal waste that made the kennel and the house attached to it uninhabitable.

Eldrup's estranged husband, who has not been charged in the case, was at the property earlier this month collecting some of his belongings, Mermel said.

While there, Kurt Eldrup found the skeletal remains of two additional dogs, Mermel said, one of which was identified through a veterinarian chip as Diane Eldrup's personal pet, Lucha.

Eldrup was released from custody following her arrest when she posted $25,000 for bond, and is scheduled to appear in court March 28.

She faces up to five years in prison if convicted of animal torture and up to three years for aggravated animal cruelty, but both crimes are also punishable by probation.