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posted: 9/28/2012 6:36 PM

Spring Grove couple charged with animal cruelty

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A Spring Grove couple face animal cruelty charges after authorities say they discovered 17 Great Danes suffering from disease and malnutrition in their house.

The animals were removed from the residence by McHenry County Animal Control personnel after sheriff's officers served a search warrant at 7206 S. Solon Road on Thursday.

Sal C. Messina, 40, and Patricia C. Messina, 43, were charged with a total of 17 counts of violating the state's Humane Care for Animals Act.

Animal control officers wore protective suits, glasses, masks and gloves during the service of the search warrant due to the large amount of animal excrement in the house, authorities said.

Several of the dogs removed from the house are undergoing testing and treatment for giardia, a parasite that can be passed to humans, officials said.

Nine other dogs previously removed from the house tested positive for the parasite.

The Messinas were arrested at the scene on outstanding arrest warrants from DuPage County. They are due in court Oct. 16.

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