(NBC) – Four young children who appeared malnourished and were covered in fecal matter, including two locked in a dog kennel, were found at a Texas home, leading to the arrest of two adults on accusations of child endangerment.
The discovery was made Tuesday morning when the sheriff’s office in Wise County near Dallas-Fort Worth was called to a property on a report of a domestic disturbance between a man and a woman, according to NBC affiliate NBC 5.
As deputies were talking to the duo, they heard children’s voices and found two children, 4 and 5, inside the kennel.
Two other children, 3 and 1, were also in the residence, Wise County Chief Deputy Craig Johnson said. They were all taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth.
Johnson said there was a refrigerator in the living space but it had a lock on it. He said the inside was “filthy” and “cluttered.”
“Locking a child, any time, in a dog crate is unacceptable,” Johnson told the outlet. “When you find them in the state they were found today, covered in fecal material, no food readily available to them, didn’t appear to have been cared for, it’s unacceptable. It’s bad.”
Johnson said the residence was a “metal shop-type building” with living quarters inside.
The Wise County Jail identified the adults arrested at the home as Andrew Fabila and Paige Harkings.
Fabila and Harkings are being held on four counts of child endangerment, a jail official said. Harkings is the mother of all four children, and Fabila is the father of one of them, the NBC 5 report said.