Mother, daughter arrested after 2 dogs die, 2 found in poor condition

Reporter: Taylor Petras Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Kay Celek. Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

A trip to the vet ended with a mother and daughter in handcuffs.

Sunday, Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested Kay Celek and her 17-year-old daughter in Cape Coral for neglecting their four dogs. Two of them died, but the other two are now receiving much-needed care.

When the two owners brought 1-year-old dog, Bailey, to Animal ER of Southwest Florida, she had to be put down due to being malnourished. The veterinarian said Bailey’s condition was from at least two weeks of neglect. She knew something was wrong and call LCSO’s animal abuse unit.

That led deputies to Celek’s northeast Cape Coral home, where they found two more dogs and another buried in a nearby lot that had died the day before.

“It makes me sad. I wonder if she needed help,” neighbor Kelly Wilson said. “If she needed help, she could have reached out to us or something.”

Animal control officers led out the two living pets from the home — a skinny, scared dog with its ribs and spine clearly visible and the other in better shape.

Neighbors say they had never even seen the dogs before.

“I walk the neighborhood all the time and nothing,” Wilson said. “Just to leave them, I don’t see how you can live in a house knowing a dog’s there doing that, starving.”

The School District of Lee County says she’s a first-grade teacher at Allen Park Elementary School. The District told us she’s been reassigned pending an investigation.

Celek bonded out of jail since being arrested. It’s unconfirmed if the teen was still in custody through Lee County Jail records.

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