Eighty-eight living and three dead animals were discovered in a Woodstock-area home where the owner had not been seen for weeks, McHenry County authorities said Tuesday.
Animals found at the home, in the 8600 block of Bull Run Trail, included 55 birds, 19 dogs, 11 cats, three rabbits as well as one dead bird, dog and cat.
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"A lot of them are primarily dehydrated and very hungry," said Debra Quackenbush, spokeswoman for the McHenry County Health Department, which oversees the county's animal control division where the animals were taken.
Officials discovered the large animal population in the home about 10:30 a.m. Monday during a well-being check on its owner, 54-year-old Virginia E. Dinucci, Undersheriff Andrew Zinke said. The home was emitting a strong odor and Dinucci had not been seen in several weeks, so neighbors called the sheriff's office to check on her, he said.
Dinucci was not in the home and nowhere to be found Monday, but sheriff's deputies saw several animals "and feces on the floor throughout the residence," according to a news release.
"There were no visible signs of food or water made available for these animals," the statement said.
The sheriff's office obtained a warrant to search for the home and remove the animals to begin caring for them. Authorities also began searching for Dinucci, who was found Tuesday at an apartment in Park Ridge.
Zinke said sheriff's personnel were on their way to question Dinucci on Tuesday afternoon. The investigation is ongoing.