Woman Charged With Starving Animal To Death

Heather-Lynn-Bentley-mug-1A woman who reportedly told police she didn’t have time to feed two dogs at her home is facing animal cruelty charges.

Selma Police received a tip about the animals on Southern Street Sunday afternoon. Officers said they located a black and white pit bull on a chain. The animal showed signs of malnutrition and police said the animals ribs and hip bones were protruding.

A dead German Shepherd was found nearby on a “thick metal chain.” Police said the dog appeared to have been deceased for a period of time.

Police indicated there were two containers in the yard. Both were completely dry. Police said one container was upside down. The second was filled with dry leaves.  There was no source for water or food.

Heather Lynn Bentley, 41, arrived a short time after police responded.  Bentley allegedly told officers the dogs did not belong to her and the owner had left them at her home 3 months ago when they moved out of state.  An officer said he asked Bentley why she didn’t feed the animals or turn them over to a shelter.  She reportedly told them she didn’t have the time. The officer noted in a report he told Bentley it would only take 20 minutes for animal control to respond and take custody of the animals.

Police did contact animal control who took custody of both the malnourished and deceased dog.  As of Tuesday, the pit bull was still alive.

Bentley was charged with felonious killing an animal by starvation and felony animal cruelty.  Bond was set at $40,000.