3 charged in Tennessee after toddler found in kennel surrounded by mice, snakes, sheriff says

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HENRY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Three people have been charged after a child was found inside a kennel in a trailer, which also housed several mice and snakes, including a 10-foot boa constrictor, according to the Henry County sheriff.

During a news conference Friday morning, Sheriff Monte Belew said 42-year-old Heather Scarbrough, 46-year-old T.J. Brown and 82-year-old Charles Brown were arrested on charges of aggravated child abuse and aggravated cruelty to animals. They face various other charges as well.

According to the sheriff, deputies responded to the trailer Thursday following an anonymous tip about possible animal cruelty. Inside, deputies found a 1-year-old child in a kennel.

There was also a boa constrictor and seven other snakes in the room with the child, including two that were right above the child’s head, Belew said. There were several buckets next to the kennel that contained 150 to 200 mice, he added.

“It’s hard to find something that actually shocks us. It’s hard to find something that will shock my conscience, that says, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve never seen this before,'” Belew said. “Well, I’ve never seen this before.”

  • Henry County toddler in cage
  • Henry County toddler in cage
  • Henry County toddler in cage
  • Henry County toddler in cage
  • Henry County toddler in cage
  • Henry County toddler in cage
  • Henry County toddler in cage
  • Henry County toddler in cage
  • Henry County toddler in cage
  • Thomas Brown
  • Heather Ray Scarbrough
  • Charles Brown

Belew said there were 15 to 20 dogs running loose inside, as well as thousands of cockroaches and maggots. The floor was covered in feces, he said.

From the property, the sheriff said his deputies seized 86 chickens and roosters, 56 dogs, 10 rabbits, four parakeets, three cats, eight snakes and one pheasant. He said there were also 531 mice, rats and hamsters, as well as a gecko and three sugar gliders.

Investigators also found 127 marijuana plants and 17 guns, including one AR-15 rifle.

All three suspects are jailed on a $300,000 bond. They are scheduled to appear in court later this month.

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