JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Who are David and Mary Ellen Senne? WDAM did some digging around the Pine Belt and found the Jones County couple accused of aggravated cruelty to animals were active members of the Forrest County community in the past.
The Sennes are each charged with aggravated cruelty to a dog or cat. About 100 animals were seized from their property on Lyons Ranch Road last week after authorities found them living in deplorable conditions.
But David and Mary Ellen Senne were at one time upstanding citizens by all accounts given to WDAM 7.
Sources said David Senne worked for the University of Southern Mississippi as a Professor of Military Science and worked with the university's Army ROTC program. He retired from the military as a Lieutenant Colonel, then became the Executive Director of the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport from 1993 until 2002.
WDAM 7 was told after his time as executive director, he made an unsuccessful run for mayor of Hattiesburg, then went on to run an airport for a couple of years in Moses Lake, Washington.
Sources reported both he and his wife were animal lovers, taking in stray cats and dogs in the past. In 2004, the Senne's established Buddy's Place, a pet memorial at Longleaf Trace at Southern Miss. Mary Ellen was quoted saying she wanted to establish a place for owners to reflect on the memories of their lost pets.