LaGrange woman serving time in 3rd animal cruelty conviction

Posted Dec. 16, 2010, at 7:59 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:31 a.m.

LINCOLN, Maine — A LaGrange woman is serving a 60-day sentence in Penobscot County Jail in Bangor for animal cruelty, her third such conviction, authorities said Thursday.

A total of 86 diseased and starved cats owned by Mary DelGizzi, 60, of 21 Trailside Lane have been euthanized because of her neglect, including 49 in 2005, 20 in 2007, and 17 in the latest case, which dates to last spring, records show.

As part of the latest plea bargain, on Dec. 7, District Court Judge Kevin Stitham also ordered that DelGizzi be fined $500, reimposed a lifetime ban on her owning animals and ordered her to finish paying $800 restitution that she owes the Maine Animal Welfare Program from her 2005 conviction, court officials said.

Chrissy Perry, a district humane agent for the animal welfare program, called DelGizzi’s the first case she could recall in which someone had violated court orders set twice before in animal cruelty cases.

“We are more than pleased with what came out of this. It’s very fair,” Perry said of the sentence.

In the most recent case, 10 state police, animal control and state Office of Elder Services workers served a search warrant on DelGizzi and her housemate at DelGizzi’s trailer on April 14, according to Perry’s report.

They found that the smell of ammonia was overpowering even though they wore respirator masks, the report states. Ammonia is a common byproduct of animal waste, which the inspectors found in abundance throughout the dwelling, along with piles of trash and clothing.

Examination revealed that the cats and kittens suffered from severe upper respiratory infections, fleas, ringworm, ruptured eyes, tapeworms, pneumonia or were thin to emaciated, Perry’s report states.

According to the report, one of the inspectors “asked Mary if the cats were sick and she stated that some of them were but she had no money to take them to the vet.”

“Mary stated that the cats come to her residence and she feels bad so she lets them inside and feeds them,” the report states.

It was unclear from the report how officials discovered the latest abuses. In the 2005 case, DelGizzi was ordered to serve one year of administrative release, a form of probation, and will pay a fine of $250 and $1,688 in restitution for animal removal costs.

She also was ordered to follow a therapist’s recommendations, be subject to unannounced inspections of her home by animal welfare representatives and police officers and participate in programs at Northeast Occupational Exchange in Bangor.

Inspectors in the 2005 incident described DelGizzi’s mobile home as “a giant litter box.”

The same basic conditions pervaded the trailer in the 2007 incident, for which DelGizzi served 48 hours in jail and was ordered to pay $350, Perry said.

DelGizzi is due to be released from jail on Jan. 2, a jail worker said.

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