Photos have been released today that show the horrifying conditions a Tennessee toddler was forced to live in by his own parents.
Here's what we know so far...
Back in June, police were called to a trailer in Henry County, Tennessee after receiving reports of animal neglect.
via: GettyHowever, when they arrived at the property, they found something much worse.
They discovered an eighteen-month-old toddler living inside a tiny 4X4 cage...
via: GettyJust 3 feet away from buckets of dead mice and a ten-foot-long boa constrictor.
Now, as you will all be aware, boa constrictors are notoriously dangerous.
via: GettyThe large snakes kill by wrapping their bodies around prey and constricting their muscles, effectively squeezing the life out of whatever it is they wish to eat.
And, of course, they can pose a huge threat to small children.
via: GettyWhile children are generally too large for boa constrictors to eat, they are still at risk of being strangled or otherwise seriously injured if one of these snakes coils around them and constricts.
So you'd think that most parents would know to never leave their child unattended with one of these creatures...
Sadly, you would be mistaken.
via: GettyBecause, as stated earlier, this unfortunate child was found inside a tiny cage with a ten-foot boa constrictor, completely unattended and neglected.
And, to make things even worse...
In a statement, Sheriff Belew said:
via: Facebook"With all of the law enforcement experience up here, it's hard to find something that actually shocks us... But I've never seen this before, and I can guarantee the gentlemen up here with me have never seen this before."
And it wasn't just the presence of the snakes that were shocking.
via: GettySheriff Belew described parts of the home as not having any flooring at all and said that the kitchen was "unlivable." He also noted that maggots and cockroaches infested the entire trailer, including the kennel where the boy slept.
It is believed that around 600 animals, including cats and dogs, were taken from the property.
via: GettyEighty-six chickens, fifty-six dogs, ten rabbits, 4 parakeets, 3 cats, 8 snakes, one pheasant, 531 rodents, to be precise.
Michael Cunningham, of the Animal Rescue Corps, told NewsChannel5 that he was confronted with several neglected animals inside the feces-filled property.
via: Getty"They were in tanks and they were completely filled to the top with feces. It was a complete mess. There was trash on the floor, cockroaches all over us, and flies everywhere."
The toddler's parents were swiftly arrested.
During the hearing, the defense attempted to play-down the severity of the situation...WKRN reported.
However, once a photo of the child in the cage was released...
People were utterly horrified.