Elmwood Park pair convicted in animal hoarding case

Tribune reporter

A man and woman were convicted on misdemeanor animal cruelty charges this week after hoarding more than 40 cats and dogs in their Elmwood Park home last year, authorities said today.

Janina Sapalska, 63, and Lukasz Sapalski, 35, were sentenced Thursday to two years probation and aren’t allowed to possess any animals during that period, according to Andy Conklin, a spokesman for Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
On Nov. 9, 2011, authorities were alerted to a small fire that night at their home in the 1600 block of 76th Avenue, Elmwood Park police said.

Firefighters were able to put out the minor blaze quickly, and then alerted authorities to the many animals inside, police said.
Elmwood Park police alerted the Cook County Animal Control department, which took possession of 22 dogs and 21 cats, some of which were in poor condition, police said.

The animals were then taken to a shelter, police said.

The village ordinances allow a maximum of three cats or dogs, police said at the time.

Conklin said Sapalska and Sapalski also were ordered to pay $2,743 to the Animal Cruelty Society as part of their sentence.


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