Remains of 15 More Dogs Found at Muddy Paws Site
Prosecutor’s motion to discover source of $25,000 bail posted for Diane Eldrup denied at hearing.
The remains of 15 more dead dogs were found at the Muddy Paws site in Deer Park, Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Mermel announced in court today.
That brings the total to 34 dogs and three birds suspected of being starved to death at the former rescue/boarding facility.
“The animals were so deteriorated. They were really just little piles of fur,” Mermel said.
During the Monday hearing, Mermel said he would not file additional charges against Diane Eldrup, owner of Muddy Paws. Eldrup is charged with 19 counts of aggravated cruelty and 19 counts of animal torture.
In a previous interview, co-prosecutor Suzanne Willett explained any additional charges would not strengthen the case.
Eldrup and her attorney John Curnyn were in court for a hearing on bond resource. Mermel had filed a motion to determine the source of the $25,000 bond posted on behalf of Eldrup.
Curnyn countered with a motion to strike the hearing. Curnyn argued that the law allowing discovery of bail funds was written for drug cases, where the funds were suspected to be illegally obtained.
“This doesn’t meet intent; this is not a drug case,” Curnyn said.
“The other allegations in the motion have no basis -- because the defendant didn’t post bond, there are not assurances the defendant will show up in court. That could be said in any case where a friend posts bail,” Curnyn said.
Mermel argued that Eldrup did not have funds to post the $25,000 bail because her home had been foreclosed.
He said Algonquin resident John Breseman posted the bail money with $8,000 in cash and a $17,000 cashier’s check. Mermel said he assumed Breseman could not come up with the funds because he had foreclosed on a home and had had filed bankruptcy in court just nine days before posting the bond.
Curnyn said Breseman’s bankruptcy filing was dismissed.
Judge James Booras decided to strike the motion for a hearing on bond resource. He said Mermel did not demonstrate reasonable cause that the bond money was obtained illegally.
The first 17 dogs, as well as three birds, were discovered dead from dehydration and starvation in December, after Kurt Eldrup, estranged husband of Diane Eldrup, called authorities to the home.
Prosecutors originally charged Diane Eldrup with 34 counts of aggravated cruelty and animal torture. In March, Kurt Eldrup returned to the home to retrieve belongings and discovered two more dead dogs. Diane Eldrup was charged with four more additional counts of aggravated cruelty and animal torture on March 23.
Kurt Eldrup told Patch that the 15 recently discovered dead dogs were piled up near an area outside where his son would have played.
Kurt Eldrup said he filed a complaint with DCFS, back in 2008, because he was concerned about the hygiene of the Muddy Paws complex. He said his son smelled bad when he would pick him up for visitation. The complaint was investigated, but DCFS found no abuse. Kurt Eldrup could not go inside the Muddy Paws boarding facility/residence because Diane Eldrup had an order of protection against him.
The Department of Agriculture also investigated complaints of animal cruelty in 2008 and concluded the claims were unfounded, according to legal letters provided by Kurt Eldrup.
The case against Diane Eldrup for aggravated cruelty and animal torture is set to go to trial on May 20.