Three young children have been removed from a Tennessee home authorities say was trash and feces-filled after the kids were allegedly found in “deplorable” conditions.
The children’s parents, Stacy Tallent and Dustin Tallent, both 31, were arrested Monday and charged with aggravated child neglect, said Sgt. Marty Bowman of the Soddy Daisy Police Department.
A total of 21 animals were also removed from the home, authorities said. Eleven of those animals were found dead in a freezer, including two dogs, two turtles, a rabbit and five parakeets, said Bob Citrullo, executive director of the Humane Educational Society in Chattanooga.
Four dogs, three cats, a rabbit, a python and a lizard were found alive, Citrullo said, describing the animals as “very thin” and covered in parasites and fleas. They are currently being evaluated by veterinarians.
The children — ages 2, 2 and 5 — were not home on Saturday when police performed a welfare check at the Soddy-Daisy home, Citrullo said. But, officers on the scene made note of the conditions of the animals on the property, prompting members of the police department to call the Humane Educational Society (HES) on Monday morning, Citrullo said.
All three children are boys, ABC Chattanooga affiliate WTVC reported. The 2-year-old boys are twins, according to the station.
When two HES officers were investigating the home, one peered inside a room and saw a child sitting on a mattress on the floor, allegedly surrounded by filth, Citrullo said. At that point, the HES officers called police, Bowman said.
Citrullo said an HES officer told him that it appears the children were being locked in one room in the home.
BREAKING: This picture shows the latch on one of the bedroom doors. HES officer says kids were inside room with this on door. pic.twitter.com/u8QdIIUFgJ
— Stephanie Santostasi (@Stephanie_NC9) June 26, 2017
When police arrived at the home, they immediately contacted children’s services, who took custody of the three kids, Bowman said. He added that the conditions of the home were “deplorable.”
Photos taken by the Humane Educational Society show the interiors of the home filled with trash. There was also animal feces scattered throughout the home, some of which was smeared on walls, Citrullo said.
Stacy and Dustin Tallent are currently in custody at a Hamilton County jail, Bowman said. It is unclear if they have retained an attorney.
The Humane Educational Society plans on recommending animal neglect charges on the parents to the Hamilton County District Attorney, Citrullo said.
Further details on the condition of the children were not immediately available. Hamilton County Children’s Services did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.