CAPE CORAL, FL – On Sunday, May 16, 2021, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Animal ER of Southwest Florida in reference to a dog that was brought in by its owner for seizures and vomiting. The dog’s name was Bailey, a 1-year-old Catahoula.
In addition to vomiting and seizures, Bailey was extremely emaciated and malnourished. Due to the severity of Bailey’s condition, she had to be medically euthanized.
“Sadly, this defenseless animal was unable to be saved,” stated Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “I am so proud of my team for thoroughly investigating this case and holding these abusers accountable for their actions.”
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office Animal Cruelty Task Force and detectives with North District Criminal Investigations Division assumed the investigation and made contact with the dog’s owners, Kay Celek, 57, and her daughter Marissa, 17.
Detectives learned that Bailey had been suffering for two weeks, and she had a littermate that died the day before from the same condition. Detectives authored and executed a search warrant for the residence, located on NE 34th Terrace in Cape Coral, and the empty lot next door, as that is where the other dog was supposedly buried.
Upon the execution of the search warrant, the remains of a dog were found in the empty lot.
Two other dogs were located inside the residence. One of them was in a condition similar to Bailey and her littermate. Both dogs were removed by Lee County Domestic Animal Services.
“I can’t thank our team enough for their dedication to stopping animal cruelty,” stated Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “Our Animal Cruelty Task Force, Criminal Investigations Division, and Forensics team worked throughout the night to bring closure to this case.”
At the conclusion of the investigation, detectives arrested Kay Celek and Marissa for aggravated animal cruelty. They were transported to the Lee County Jail without incident.