Local News

Malnourished horses, dogs rescued from Warren County farm

Posted September 3, 2014

— Authorities on Wednesday removed nine horses and 16 dogs from a Warren County property, where the animals were abandoned and so malnourished that their bones are visible.

“What has happened here to these animals is an absolutely horrible crime,” said Kim Alboum, state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “I don’t have words to describe what we’re finding here. It’s tragic.”

The Humane Society of the United States, Warren County Animal Control and sheriff’s deputies removed 18 horses last week from the farm near Warrenton and return Wednesday to rescue the remaining 25 animals.

They said the farm has no clean water or adequate food. The horses have open sores and cracked hooves. Many of the dogs, which were roaming in their own feces, have eye ulcers and ear infections.

“Her eye is white like a marble,” Alboum said, examining one of the flea-infested dogs. “That’s scar tissue in the eye. She’s functionally blind.”

Veterinarians found the remains of other horses and dogs on the property.

Authorities identified the woman responsible for the animals as Mary Beth Selee, who has been previously accused of animal cruelty. They said she left for New York in July, and the animals have been neglected since then.

“She was reported in Granville County, and there are charges pending in Johnston County after months of animal cruelty complaints,” Alboum said.

Sheriff’s investigators were able to reach Selee by phone and said she refused to surrender the animals, which means a hearing will take place. It was unclear whether charges would be filed against her.

Alboum said the animals will be treated and taken to shelters, but their future is uncertain.


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  • Brenda Love Sep 4, 2014
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    I can't even read the story, I can't stand the animal abuse stories, it really gets me upset.

  • Forthe Newssite Sep 4, 2014
    user avatar

    She should have NO CHOICE but to surrender. She's been charged in 2 separate counties in NC and yet was able to do this a third time. To abandon them in JULY and it's now September......she so needs to be locked up.

    Poster child for why there should be a NATIONAL animal abuse registry!!!!!

  • ziva Sep 4, 2014

    View quoted thread

    I was going to say the same thing. I hope that the police and/or those that assisted in removing these poor animals will contact NY authorities to let them know what she has done AGAIN and let them know "her dream is to have a horse farm in NY".

    I also have a similar thought to some other posters....why does she even have a choice about whether she surrenders the animals or not....SHE HAS LOST THAT RIGHT....IMO

  • Rudy Bizzell Sep 4, 2014
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    In cases like this someone should be in the jail house for a while. She should be made to pay all cost related to this rescue. If she wont pay seize the property and sell it to pay off the cost of rescueing this animals.

  • Lori De Stefano Sep 4, 2014
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    She's been banned before from owning any animals and it doesn't seem to stop her. Why isn't anyone keeping up on this lady? Maybe she needs to register as an animal abuser like pedophiles do so they can keep track of her. God bless the day I ever run into her face to face. Let's hope someone n the law enforcement area will check up on her dream of owning a farm in NY and warn them up there.

  • whatnow14 Sep 4, 2014

    Scrolling down this woman's FB page, I see that her dream is to purchase a large horse farm in New York. So did this dream come true and she just leave behind the animals here....I hope she has not purchased another farm anywhere.

  • Dale Carroll Sep 4, 2014
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    I saw these animals on a Facebook page for this person charged. You can see what they looked like when they were healthy and happy. It is unbelievable what happened to these animals and that she let this situation get this bad, and then make it worse by not surrendering the animals... What does she want?

  • Karen Orndorff Sep 4, 2014
    user avatar

    This woman deserves to be starved.

  • babylaceycarpenter Sep 4, 2014

    This woman should be placed on death row. At a very minimum, she should get 10 years, for every animal she abused. The issue is, she has most likely abused some animals, to the extent that they died of this abuse. The investigators will not know about all of these animals, because there is nothing left of them. It's no different than my idea of charging drug dealers, with a minimum of 1 count of negligent homicide. The drugs they peddle, have killed someone, whether by direct overdosing, or DUI death of someone else, or by addicts killing people for their money, so they can get more drugs. Things like this, will not stop by themselves.

  • icdumbpeople Sep 4, 2014

    No excuse for this. Find ,me a politician that will change these laws and I will rally the votes. This woman needs to be in jail. Period.