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NW Suburban Couple Accused Of Mistreating 17 Great Danes

SPRING GROVE, Ill. (STMW) -- A northwest suburban couple faces animal cruelty charges after police found 17 Great Danes living in their filthy home, many malnourished and suffering from parasites.

Sal C. Messina, 40, and his wife Patricia C. Messina, 43, face numerous violations of the Humane Care for Animals Act after the dogs were found during a Thursday search of their home in the 7200 block of South Solon Road in Spring Grove, a release from the McHenry County Sheriff's office said.

Officers executed a search warrant after McHenry County Animal Control Officers found that several Great Danes in the residence were not being cared for properly, according to the sheriff's office. A Great Dane averages 100-120 pounds in weight and can be nearly 4 feet tall.

While searching the residence, police and animal control personnel were forced to wear protective suits, glasses, masks and gloves because of the large amount of animal excrement found all over the home, the release said.

Animal control officers had previously taken nine of the dogs and found they tested positive for Giardia, a parasite that can be passed to humans, according to police. A total of 17 dogs were eventually removed, and several remain in veterinary care suffering from Giardia and malnutrition.

The Messinas were arrested on outstanding warrants from DuPage County, and later charged with 17 misdemeanor counts each of ignoring animal owner's duties, according to the release. Bond was set at $1,500 each and they will return to court in Woodstock on Oct. 16.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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