Couple arrested on child abuse, animal cruelty charges - | WBTV Charlotte

Clarksville couple arrested on child abuse, animal cruelty charges

CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A stunned neighborhood watched as two children and close to 20 animals were taken from a Clarksville home.

Daniel and Jessica Thompson are now facing charges of child abuse, neglect and animal cruelty.

Police responded to the Thompsons' Green Valley Court home where they said they found two children, ages 9 and 5, barefoot and covered in insect bites with animal feces in their beds, on the floors and on the kitchen counters.

Montgomery County Animal Control Director Tim Clifton said there was much more than a small family living inside the house.

"We ended up taking eight dogs, five cats, two rabbits, a chicken, two hamsters and a hairless rat," said Clifton. "They're emaciated, but we're feeding them high protein food. Where they're at now is clean. They're getting well-fed. Whatever environment they come out of, that's more what they're used to."

While some of the animals have already been sent to new homes, Clifton said animal control still has the cats and dogs.

"The Great Dane only weighed about 58 pounds," said Clifton. "It should have weighed about 120 pounds."

Neighbors told Channel 4 they had no idea so many animals were living inside the house and only saw one of the eight dogs outside.

The Department of Children's Services has stepped in to handle the children's case.

"All the animals have been temperament tested now," said Clifton. "They're ready to go home. It's kinda heartbreaking, it really is. As bad as it is, you know the kids are going to be taken care of, you know, DCS is going to take care of the kids. There's laws to protect those children. We need better laws to take care of these animals. It's a pretty sad situation."

The Thompsons have relinquished the animals to Montgomery County Animal Control. Clifton said the dogs and cats are now available for adoption.

Neighbors also told Channel 4 only one of the two children in the house belonged to the Thompsons. They said the second child was a friend's who had been staying there for the past few weeks.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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