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Child found living in cage with snake: Parents say it was the ‘safest place’

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A court has heard the disturbing details of the vile living conditions an 18-month-old boy had to endure while locked in a filthy cage with a huge snake.

A court has heard the disturbing details of the vile living conditions an 18-month-old boy had to endure while locked in a filthy cage with a huge snake.

The parents of the toddler told a US court it was the "safest place" for the child in their animal-overridden trailer which they call home.

T.J Brown, 46, Heather Scarborough, 42, and grandfather Charles Brown, 82, were arrested in late June by Henry County, in the US state of Georgia, on multiple counts of aggravated child abuse and aggravated animal cruelty.

The boy was found inside a barren cage, only four metres by four metres in size, with no blankets or toys.

Nearby was a three-meter long boa constrictor and eight other snakes were spotted in the same room, officials said.

READ MORE: Huge red-bellied black snake found in Queensland children's toy basket

The "unlivable" home was overridden with 86 chickens and roosters, 56 dogs, 10 rabbits, four parakeets, three cats, eight snakes, 531 rodents and three sugar gliders.

A local animal welfare organisation removed an estimated 600 animals from the property.

The trailer was said to smell like ammonia, with animal faeces and urine covering the floor.

"With all of the law enforcement experience up here, it's hard to find something that actually shocks us," Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew told local media.

"I've never seen this before, and I can guarantee the gentlemen up here with me have never seen this before."

The family's defence team argued the cage was a "makeshift playpen for a lower-income family", according to the Sun.

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Investigators at the trial took issue with the defence.

"When I put a child in a playpen, there's not 8 snakes, hundreds of rats and hamsters and mice up against the cage, there's no cockroaches in the cage, there's not urine-soaked clothes in the cage, I mean, there's a big difference," one investigator said at the hearing.

More to come.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/child-found-living-in-cage-with-snake-parents-say-it-was-the-safest-place/75e24994-95c5-44a0-a5ab-f475d98e1d4c

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