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Animal Rights

Lady Kept Dead Dogs at Inland Empire Home, Faces 9 Years

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Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 5:05 PM
click to enlarge SMLP.CO.UK / FLICKR
  • smlp.co.uk / Flickr

The craziness of the stories that come out of the Inland Empire almost put the area on par with Germany and/or Florida in our humble and jaded opinion.

Cops in the Sky Valley area of Indio (out there near Coachella) say 65-year-old Bernadette Mary Schwenn kept more than 30 dogs at her place. Some of them were dead:

That, at least, is what authorities are saying following a search of Schwenn's home near Thousand Palms Canyon and Dillon Roads in spring.

Why are we telling you this now? The suspect was arrested today week following an apparently lengthy investigation, according to the Riverside County District Attorney's office.


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A D.A.'s statement says she was charged yesterday with "10 felony and 20 misdemeanor counts alleging animal cruelty and failure to provide proper care or attention for animals."

Authorities basically allege she abandoned the animals, including puppies, at her home, failing to properly care for them.

The office says:

The investigation began in April of this year when the Riverside County Department of Animal Services received information about more than 30 dogs living unattended and abandoned on Schwenn's property located in the area of Thousand Palms Canyon and Dillon roads, commonly known as "Sky Valley". During the subsequent investigation, numerous puppies and adult dogs were found to be either suffering or deceased

Prosecutors say Schwenn has been cited more than once for similar allegations and that she has a separate animal cruelty case pending.

This one's a felony case, however, and the D.A.'s office says the suspect could face 9 years behind bars. She's expected to be back in court Monday.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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