Rebecca Ann Bentley and Kristin Sue Ann Bentley, both 31, of Elk Point, pled guilty and have been sentenced in circuit court for cruelty to animals and contribute to abuse, neglect or delinquency of a child.

According to a report from the Elk Point Police Department, Elk Point Police were notified Aug. 5 about an incident involving dogs at a residence on S. Douglas Street. When officers arrived on scene, a severely emaciated dog was found abandoned. Upon further investigation, a second dog was found dead inside a crate in the residence. It was clear that both dogs were being neglected. The dogs were left in crates filled with feces, with no food or water, for approximately two-three weeks.

A timeline was made using surveillance footage to determine when the owners were last at the residence. The footage shows the owners near the residence on foot approximately six days before the animals were located. Using this information, police concluded that the owners were present while these dogs were starving.

The surviving dog was turned over to an animal shelter in Sioux City. The deceased dog was taken to Brookings for a necropsy. The findings indicated that the deceased dog had been without food for approximately two-three weeks and its estimated time of death was approximately 48 hours prior to officers arriving on the scene. Its water intake timeline was unknown.

After the investigation was completed, the Bentleys were charged with felony counts of Cruelty to Animals and Misdemeanor counts of Contributing to the Abuse and Neglect of a Child and warrants for their arrest were issued. Both women were located in Michigan, arrested by local authorities and extradited back to the Union County Sheriff’s Office. The subjects both pleaded guilty to one count of Cruelty to Animals and one count of Contributing to the Abuse and Neglect of a Child.

Rebecca Ann Bentley received a suspended imposition of sentence, two years in penitentiary, suspended, 47 days jail with credit for 17 days and two years probation. She is prohibited from possessing any animal during the time of her probation.

Kristin Sue Ann Bentley also received a suspended imposition of sentence, 47 days jail with credit for 17 days and two years probation.

The surviving dog was given amazing care by the shelter staff and veterinarians. It was still being cared for as of Oct. 4, 2021 but is expected to fully recover.

The identity of the child involved will not be released.

The Elk Point Police Department would like to thank the Union County Sheriff’s office for their assistance in transporting the subjects from Michigan back to Elk Point.