The boy’s parents and grandfather were arrested after the toddler was found inside a filthy trailer house – they told the investigators that the kennel was the safest place for him because their home was so filthy.
The boy was found in a 4×4 cage in the living room, with no blanket, in a cockroach-infested cage with a 10ft boa constrictor. The boy was living with rats and mice next to his cage and a 10-foot boa constrictor in the same room.
The police were called to the trailer in Henry County, Tennessee, after receiving reports of Animal abuse, but what they saw left them stunned.
Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said: “It was heartbreaking to see the conditions this child was living in, there was nothing for that baby in the entire house outside the cage, he was in. All his toys were in there with him. There were no other toys, no crib, no blankets for him. It appeared he spent most if not all his time in the cage, and the ammonia smell that came up when we lifted the cage and the bugs that were under it makes it appear as if he stayed in there a lot.”
The boy was living with 431 mice, rats and hamsters, 56 dogs, including a pregnant dog that gave birth to puppies on Thursday, 86 Chickens and roosters, 10 rabbits, four parakeets, three cats, a pheasant, and a gecko.
Boy’s mother, Heather Scarbrough, 42, her boyfriend Thomas Brown 46, and his father Charles Brown 82 were taken into custody late June in Henry County on counts of aggravated child abuse and aggravated animal cruelty. Investigators also found 127 marijuana plants and 17 guns in their property.
Last week all three suspects appeared in the court, during which the investigators and the first respondents testified about the vile conditions inside the trailer, which he shared with his son, and his girlfriend, and their 1-year-old toddler, along with dogs, snakes, rats, and hamsters.
Three feet away from the boy’s 4×4 cage was a 10ft boa constrictor, 8 snakes were also found inside the room in total. The sheriff who discovered the boy said the kitchen was ‘unlivable.’ Maggots and cockroaches were all over the house, including the boy’s kennel.
During Thursday’s hearing, the defense pointed that the boy was only diagnosed with a rash, but the Department for Child Services said otherwise, Child services testified that a hair follicle test on the victim detected THC, which is present in Cannabis.
The defense said that the kennel was just a makeshift playpen for a lower-income family. There is a big difference between a playpen and a kennel, the chief investigating officer of the case said.
“When I put a child in a playpen, there’s not 8 snakes hundreds of rats and hamsters and mice up against the cage, there’re no cockroaches in the cage, there’s not urine-soaked clothes in the cage, I mean, there’s a big difference,” he said.
Charles Brown, who already bonded out, waived his rights to a preliminary hearing Thursday and is set to be arraigned on November 9. The possession of firearms charges against the mother was dismissed and the marijuana possession charge was reduced from a class B felony to a class C felony. All the other charges were bound over, according to the attorneys.
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