Woman Gets 30 Months for Running "Concentration Camp for Dogs"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    A Deer Park woman on Tuesday was sentenced to 30 months in prison for operating what a Lake County judge said was a "concentration camp for dogs."

    Diane Eldrup, 49, the former director of the Muddy Paws Dog Rescue, was convicted Sept. 8 of aggravated animal cruelty and animal torture. Authorities last December discovered dozens of dogs and other animals that had apparently starved to death.

    "It takes a certain mean spirit, a certain meanness of heart," Lake County Circuit Judge James Booras said. "She was running a concentration camp for dogs, taking those dogs in so that she could kill them."

    During the hearing, prosecutors argued that Eldrup not only killed other dogs, she also mistreated her own dog, a tan chihuahua named Lucha. Lucha was found as a pile of bones underneath the windowsill of the her son's bedroom.

    Eldrup's lawyer, John Curnyn, asked the Booras to keep things in "perspective," claiming Eldrup suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder due to marital issues.

    Edrup said she was 'truly sorry and very remorseful" for her actions.

    Eldrup faced up to five years in prison but Booras ruled to allow her to work and receive mental health treatments.

    He also gave her permission to see her 9-year-old son.

    "A child needs a mother and a father," said Booras.

    Eldrup is expected to return to court Nov. 21 for a hearing on restitution and child support.