WOODBRIDGE, Conn. (WTNH) - Friends say she loved animals but police say she abused them. Animal Control Officer Karen Lombardi was arrested for a second time in four months.
"I hope the town of Woodbridge is very sorry for doing this to a very innocent person," said Laura Torrence, Woodbridge.
"If all this had happened, why is she still working there. So now, it seems like they're grabbing at other things to try and get rid of her," said April Marazzi, Lombardi's friend.
About a year ago, News 8 interviewed Lombardi in Bethany after a horse, Cheyenne, was found in a barn standing in three feet of mud and its own waste.
"It makes me very angry and it makes me very sad that someone would let this happen," said Lombardi, on July 27, 2012.
Fast forward 8 months and she was arrested on an animal cruelty charge, accused of slamming a dog against a wall.
She kept her job and now, she's facing second degree larceny.
Police say the State's Department of Agriculture's Animal Control Division contacted them, worried she was misappropriating vouchers and funds used for spaying and neutering animals. An investigation culminated in her arrest.
Friends don't believe either accusation and they're planning to organize.
"She's a wonderful person and she has thousands of people behind her that will stand up and give a testimony to all the good work she's doing in her town," said Torrence.
"I think that if she leaves or is forced to leave, I think the only thing that will suffer here are the animals," said Marazzi.
She posted a $1,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court July 18.
Lombardi's attorney said, "this is a tempest in a teapot. Petty misunderstandings really shouldn't take up valuable court time. Karen will plead not guilty when the case comes to court."