4 Kids Taken Away After Animal Neglect Call
Police Find Dead Animals, Malnourished Kids On Antioch Property
July 15 2010
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- An Antioch woman was arrested Thursday and four children were taken away after Metro police responded to an animal neglect call from neighbors. The call said that horses were running in the road, according to police.
Found In Home
"We had four horses in my yard, grazing," said neighbor Steve Sylvester.
Police said they found four malnourished kids -- ages 6, 4, 2 and 19 months -- on a remote piece of property with three dead dogs and feces everywhere. They said the kids were listless and covered in feces and mud. Police entered the home wearing gas masks.
Dorothy Kifer, 37, the children's mother, has been charged with aggravated child neglect and faces 26 state charges for aggravated animal cruelty. The kids were taken to be evaluated at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt before being released into custody of the Department of Children's Services.
"The children, when they were removed from the home, were covered in what appeared to be mud and feces," Mumford said. "They appeared to be normal weight, but they were very listless."
Kifer's husband, a National Guardsman, was informed of what happened at his homecoming from Iraq on Thursday.
Animal Control took 15 dogs, eight horses and a donkey from the property. They are providing food and water for the animals.
There was no air conditioning in the house, and it was 95 degrees at the time of the arrest, said police. Metro Health officials said there was sewer and wastewater on the ground and no running water in the home. They said the home isn't fit for humans to live in.