Update: Florence woman who had 133 animals taken from her released from jail


FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – A Florence County woman who had 133 animals removed from her property and was charged with animal cruelty did not show up for court this week.

Donna Keller Lee, 71, of Effingham, was scheduled to appear in court on Monday, according to 12th Circuit Solicitor Ed Clements. A bench warrant was issued for her arrest after she did not show.

Lee was booked at the Florence County Detention Center on Thursday and released on Friday when a judge lifted the bench warrant.

Lee was charged with 39 counts of animal cruelty in what officials with the humane society said was a wakeup call for the state’s lack of legislation against puppy mills.

“We as a community, as a city, county, the state can take a look at the lack of legislation we have in place,” said Jayne Boswell, president of the Florence Humane Society, after the charges were made.

A study by the Animal Legal Defense Fund for 2018 ranked South Carolina’s animal protection laws 40th in the nation. That ranking was a decline from 38th the prior year.

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