Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jury finds Hudson woman guilty of animal cruelty

Diane Lombardi of Hudson faces possible jail time and probation at her sentencing.

KERI WIGINTON | Times

Diane Lombardi of Hudson faces possible jail time and probation at her sentencing.

NEW PORT RICHEY — Diane Lombardi started out with just one dog, an Australian shepherd named Bear. Then she took in Susie, who was followed later by Hank.

By the fall of 2007, Lombardi's litter had ballooned to about 40 dogs. And when her sister, who was 64 and disabled, was admitted to a hospital, Lombardi lost any ability to control the animals and the situation.

She couldn't find homes for the dogs, and she said she couldn't abide the idea of taking them to a shelter where she knew they'd be euthanized.

"I kind of got in over my head," Lombardi testified Wednesday in her trial on 42 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

After deliberating for less than an hour Wednesday, a jury found her guilty of all counts.

Lombardi, 61, will be sentenced today. She faces possible jail time and probation.

Lombardi owned a home on Frost Drive in the Viva Villas subdivision in Hudson and another across the street that she inherited from her parents. She had been taking care of her sister and another sick woman. After both of them died in November 2007, authorities went in and discovered the conditions.

Lombardi and her sister had been living in the garage because the dogs had taken over the house. The other woman stayed in a back bedroom.

Prosecutor Kris Parker called the main living area a "despicable hell" — feces several inches thick, bugs swarming and an overwhelming, toxic odor. A veterinarian who examined the dogs found them all infested with fleas. Many were underweight and had worms and parasites.

Eventually, 37 were euthanized. Lombardi's house was demolished.

Her lawyer called the situation sad, but not a crime.

"This is a case of someone doing her best," Dennis Watson told jurors.

Lombardi's daughter testified that her mother always fed the dogs, even if it meant going without food for herself. Rachel Lombardi also tried to allege that the photos taken in her mother's house had been altered.

"There's places where animal feces couldn't even get, on walls and windows, unless someone put it there," Rachel Lombardi said.

Lombardi acknowledged that there were too many dogs for her to care for herself.

"It was too many. I wanted the dogs to have individual attention," she said. But "as far as cruelty, my God, never could I ever hurt an animal."

Molly Moorhead can be reached at moorhead@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6245.

Jury finds Hudson woman guilty of animal cruelty 03/31/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 7:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees

    Politics

    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.