Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco woman sentenced to 10 days in jail for animal cruelty

Diane Lombardi must also serve 21 years of probation for the mistreatment of 42 dogs found living in filth in her Hudson home. The house was eventually demolished.

KERI WIGINTON | Times

Diane Lombardi must also serve 21 years of probation for the mistreatment of 42 dogs found living in filth in her Hudson home. The house was eventually demolished.

NEW PORT RICHEY — Diane Lombardi was insistent to the end that she took care of her dogs.

"Most of my animals were extremely healthy," Lombardi told a judge Thursday as she was sentenced on 42 counts of animal cruelty.

But Senior Circuit Judge Radford Smith let her say little else, calling her case one of the most extreme examples of animal mistreatment he has seen.

He sentenced Lombardi, 61, to 10 days in jail, followed by 21 years of probation — six months for each dog.

Prosecutors said Lombardi kept the animals in deplorable conditions in her house on Frost Drive in Hudson. They were forced to live in their own feces and fight each other for food. Many were emaciated, had worms and were infested with fleas.

Lombardi testified that she started out with only one dog. She took in strays and rehabilitated animals for other people. The pack quickly grew. By November 2007, she had more than 40 dogs while trying to care for her disabled sister and another sick woman.

When her sister was admitted to the hospital, Lombardi lost any ability to take care of the dogs. She and her sister eventually moved into the garage because the dogs had taken over the house. The other woman stayed in a back bedroom.

After both women died within two weeks of each other, authorities went in and discovered the conditions in the house.

Animal control officers confiscated the dogs, and 37 had to be euthanized. Lombardi got to keep one — Susie, who still lives with her. The house was later demolished.

Lombardi, who was affable during trial and sometimes called the judge and her lawyer "Honey," denied some of the charges against her. When showed pictures of the sickly animals, she said most of them weren't hers — there must have been a mix-up at the shelter. Her daughter testified, accusing prosecutors of doctoring photographs from inside the house to make conditions look worse.

A self-proclaimed dog lover, Lombardi said she couldn't bring herself to turn them over to a shelter where she knew they'd be euthanized.

Judge Smith told her euthanasia would have been preferable to what Lombardi put the dogs through.

"That is a sad fact, but far, far, far superior to what happened to these dogs," Smith told her.

He ordered her to have a psychological evaluation and participate in any therapy or treatment that's recommended. He gave her a suspended six-month jail sentence on each cruelty conviction, meaning if she violates her probation she'll wind up in jail.

He said she could keep Susie, but for the length of her probation she cannot have more than one pet.

"You must provide good care to this animal," the judge said.

Lombardi protested when told she would go directly to jail. She wanted time to get her life in order. She's a Roman Catholic, she said, and wanted to be able to attend church today, Good Friday.

The judge didn't relent.

"I think it's important for you to know what being in jail is like," he said.

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

Pasco woman sentenced to 10 days in jail for animal cruelty 04/01/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 1, 2010 8:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Arcade Fire open hearts, play with passion at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

    Blogs

    Gloves off, hearts open and disco balls glittering, Arcade Fire scaled the stage for the first time ever in Tampa, pouncing and flailing and performing with all the passion that’s made them one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands this century.

    Arcade Fire performed at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2017.
  2. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  3. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  4. Steven Souza Jr. vindicating big trade for Rays

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — There was a time when the three-team, 11-player transaction the Rays orchestrated to get Steven Souza Jr. from the Nationals looked liked a bad deal.

    The Rays’ Steven Souza Jr. has 30 home runs this season while improving his defense and baserunning but wants to improve on his .236 batting average.
  5. Fennelly: Lightning's Manon Rheaume made history 25 years ago Saturday

    Lightning Strikes

    The name is part of Lightning history, hockey history, sports history.

    Lightning goalie Manon Rheaume became the first woman to play in an NHL game 25 years ago today.