HENRY COUNTY, Tenn. — Middle Tennessee deputies rescued a toddler who was found in a dog crate amid more than 600 animals all kept in and on the property of a single-wide trailer in Henry County, including snakes, dogs, mice, rats, chickens, roosters and more.
Deputies made the disturbing discovery Thursday in Buchanan after being called to a property to investigate a report of animal abuse, WZTV Nashville reported.
Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew described the crate as a dog kennel and said the child, an 18-month-old boy, had been living there for some time, according to the news organization. The cage was crawling with bugs and smelled of urine.
“In a single-wide trailer in the living room you’ve got a kid caged, you’ve got eight snakes and you’ve got the snake’s feed butted up against the child’s cage,” Belew said. “Eight snakes in the same room, then mice running everywhere.”
Child welfare workers took the boy, the station reported. Further details on his condition were not immediately available.
Heather Scarbough, 42, mother of the child, Thomas Jefferson Brown, 46, “stepfather” of the child, and Charles Brown, 82, TJ’s dad, are all facing felony charges of aggravated child abuse and aggravated cruelty to animals, possession of a firearm while committing another felony, manufacturing marijuana, drug paraphernalia and an additional cruelty to animals. There will likely be more charges coming, WZTV reported.
Moreover, deputies seized 17 firearms, six chickens and roosters, 56 dogs, 10 rabbits, four parakeets, three cats, eight snakes, a pheasant and a gecko.