Indio, CA — A Southern California woman has been charged with 30 counts of animal cruelty and failure to care for her dogs.
Bernadette Mary Schwenn was charged with 10 felony counts and 20 misdemeanor counts after more than two dozen dogs were found sick, dead, or dying at her property in Riverside County’s Sky Valley. According to San Jose Mercury News, the sentence for a guilty verdict on the charges ranges from probation to nine years in jail. Schwenn also has another misdemeanor cruelty case pending, and had previously been citied for failing to take care of her dogs.
“Yet she neglected to do so,” authorities said.
The 64-year-old was arrested at 9 am Thursday at the law library on Monroe Street in Indio, following a months-long investigation, and is being held on $50,000 bail. She is scheduled to be arraigned Monday at the Larsen Justice Center, but court paperwork did not include an attorney’s name. Schwenn cannot ask for a court-appointed counsel until her arraignment.
District Attorney’s spokesman John Hall said that animal control received reports of neglected animals and found 30 dead or sick puppies and adult dogs. Ten more were seized from the property Thursday.
District Attorney Paul Zellerbach said his office “takes these types of situations seriously and will continue to vigorously prosecute cases of animal cruelty.”
In St. Louis, a 35-year-old woman was arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty after bragging online about killing her shepherd-terrier mix. On July 9, Adrienne Martin posted on Facebook, “I’m on killa mode… kill dogs… today.” A few days later, on July 14, she posted, “MF’s is killing me about this stupid dog….keep it real…you didn’t take care nor like or love the MF…on the TV str8 lies…#laughingeveryday….stop b*tch..”
Stray Rescue of St. Louis named the dog Brownie and did everything they could to save him, but he eventually succumbed to his injuries and died from organ failure.
Do you think nine years is a long enough sentence for 30 counts of animal cruelty?