25 Dead Horses Found: Ranch Owner Arrested for Animal CrueltyPublished November 2, 2011
Flickr User jlwelsh
Last week, authorities discovered 25 dead horses on a 54-acre California ranch owned by Dwight Bennett.
According to a news item published recently on CBS Sacramento, Bennett, the owner of Whispering Pines Ranch in Lassen County, was arrested on 30 counts of cruelty to animals after the remains of 25 horses and two dogs were found on his property.
Volunteers for The Grace Foundation, an animal rescue group from Northern California, described the scene as “the worst cases of animal cruelty they've witnessed."
“It was just a graveyard for horses," said Beth DeCaprio of the rescue group. "It was the worst case I had ever seen. There’s a price to pay when we forget about the innocent and the voiceless.”
Over the past several months, DeCaprio has assisted in the rescue of 56 horses from the Whispering Pines Ranch. These rescued horses are currently being housed at The Grace Foundation's ranch in El Dorado Hills.
In light of today's economy, it is an especially difficult task to re-home these horses. Making it even more difficult to find new homes for these horses is the fact that, following a thorough examination of these rescued horses, it was discovered that 18 of them (all under the age of three) were pregnant mares. As a result, there are even more equine survivors to care for and find homes for.
If the situation was not already dire enough, this daunting task of finding new homes for the horses is made even tougher since The Grace Foundation itself is “tight on cash."
In the past, horse lovers have certainly taken heroic actions and have stepped up to the plate when tragic acts have been uncovered. With the help of caring horse lovers around the world, $24,000 was raised to save 60 horses that were Mexico-bound to be slaughtered for meat after a Colorado woman raised awareness about their plight. One can only hope that the same might be done for The Grace Foundation.
For those wishing to learn more about or contribute to The Grace Foundation to help the horses rescued from Whispering Pines Ranch, please visit their website.
Over the last few years, it seems to me that there has been a considerable increase in news items concerning animal cruelty, specifically news items that highlight the full brutality of these crimes. Do you think this is because animal cruelty is finally being considered a serious crime that warrants this publicity? Share your views with a comment.