Mother arrested for locking toddlers inside “kennels”

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WEST VIRGINIA – A Shrewsbury woman has been arrested after authorities discovered her two sons living in excrement-laden cages resembling dog kennels.

Kristal Richard, 33, allegedly locked her toddlers–ages 2 and 5– inside homemade enclosures. One child was locked inside a box measuring roughly 4 feet tall by 6 feet wide, containing a piece of plywood, tarp, and a plate of food while another son was kept in a room with a half door and mesh gate.

Neither of the quarters contained a bed for the children to sleep or provided access to a bathroom, reports Daily Mail.

The toddlers were found when officers came to the residence to perform a welfare check on Monday after receiving an anonymous tip.

West Virginia State Police officers found the two children naked and living in conditions described as “awful,” which included urine and feces covering the floor of the boxes and smeared on the walls. Toys and bits of food were also found scattered about in the cramped living space.

One officer told reporters that it appeared as if the children were living in kennels made for an animal.  When the 5-year-old was set free, offiers said he ran out and yelled, “Whoopeeee!”

When Richard was questioned by investigators, she reportedly admitted to locking her two boys inside the filthy cages. She claimed that her children were locked inside the makeshift boxes most of the day because she was unable to properly care for them, says West Virginia Illustrated.

Richard is being held on a $10,000 cash-only bond and has been was charged with two counts of child neglect creating the risk of injury.

The two children were in the care of Child Protective Services on Monday night and have since been released into the custody of family members.

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