Man accused of animal abuse arrested

Many surviving animals taken to Grace Foundation in El Dorado Hills
By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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The man reportedly responsible for the endangerment and abuse of dozens of horses at his Susanville ranch, subsequently rescued by the Grace Foundation in El Dorado Hills, has been arrested. Dwight Bennett is now in the custody of the Lassen County jail in lieu of $15,000 bail, according to officials at the Lassen County Adult Detention Facility. Bennett has been charged with 30 counts of felony animal abuse and possession of a controlled substance, jail officials said Thursday. He was arrested at the Whispering Pines property around 10 a.m. Oct. 25 according to a press release from the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office, after a search warrant was served to “collect evidenced related to a cruelty to animals investigation …” During the initial search of the property, deputies discovered evidence of drug use and asked the Lassen County Narcotics Task Force for assistance. The Lassen County Superior Court expanded the search warrant to include drugs and related paraphernalia, the release states. The remains of 28 horses and three dogs were found at the property in “various states of decomposition and may range from recent to many years old.” The task force recovered a usable amount of methamphetamine, marijuana and five firearms at the property, according to officials. For more on this story, see Wednesday's El Dorado Hills Telegraph newspaper.