THAWVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — EARTH Animal Sanctuary is now the subject of an investigation by the Iroquois County State’s Attorney. Corrine DiLorenzo once operated earth animal sanctuary in Thawville. The board for the sanctuary dissolved three years ago, but members say DiLorenzo kept taking in animals. This summer the remains of hundreds of animals were found at the site.
Many describe it as extreme neglect and animal cruelty, and some former board members and friends believe DiLorenzo should face consequences.
An animal sanctuary like Wedrose Acres is a place animals go to be safe and cared for, but Tobein Tegard says that wasn’t the reality at EARTH Animal Sanctuary. DiLorenzo, used to live on Tegard’s property.
“She was kindof looking for a place to move, and so I had a mobile home and I thought she’s gonna help me with the animals, that’ll be great,” said Tegard. “Really never work out with her helping me with the animals. She started taking in animals.”
Not long after, DiLorenzo moved out and opened her own sanctuary in 2014 called EARTH Animal Sanctuary. EARTH’s board later dissolved in 2016 because of failure to report taxes. But board members say DiLorenzo kept taking in animals. This past June, a board member found something terrible on the sanctuary’s former site: The remains of at least 600 animals.
“We dug up skulls and at first, the animals were buried very shallow and the people could take their hands and get them,” said Tegard.
Tegard believes something should be done to hold DiLorenzo accountable.
“People go to jail or get accused when they injure one dog, and I mean this is close to 700,” said Tegard. “There’s probably still 200 animals missing, and no one knows where they are.”
WCIA tried reaching out to DiLorenzo but did not hear back. The Iroquois County State’s Attorneys office says they’ve been looking into EARTH Animal Sanctuary’s operations for several months. They have been meeting with members of the board as part of this investigation, but would not go into what the investigation involves.
A petition was formed to advocate for animal cruelty charges against DiLorenzo. That petition now has more than 6,000 signatures.