Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Texas children found in dog cage placed in foster care

Texas children found in dog cage placed in foster care

Deputies on Tuesday discovered two malnourished children crammed into a locked dog cage and two more smeared with feces and urine in a barn in North Texas, in what a sheriff described as the worst case of child abuse he has ever seen.

Investigators found four children inside the residence, "two of which were locked in a dog crate, one was laying on a blanket, one was laying on a toddler bed", Johnson said.

The newspaper reports that while speaking to the man and woman about a possible family violence situation, a deputy heard children inside the home.

A search of the property turned up four children between the ages of 1 and 5. The Wise County Jail identified the adults arrested at the home as Andrew Fabila and Paige Harkings.

The oldest two were locked in the cage that was just three-by-three feet (90-by-90 cm), and the other two were filthy and only partially clothed, Akin said.

The enclosure in which the children were found measured 3-by-3 feet. The agency did not say if the children have been placed together or split up.

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The children were taken to Cook Children's Medical Centre in Fort Worth, but a hospital spokeswoman declined to disclose their conditions.

Neighbors told KXAS they noticed the couple begin to use the building a couple of weeks earlier, but had no idea that there were children living inside. Harkings was additionally charged with aggravated assault.

Andrew Joseph Fabila is the father to one of the children, Harkings is the mother to all four of the children.

Fabila had to be taken to the hospital for wounds on his face before being charged but was taken to jail after his treatment.

According to Sheriff Lane Akin, the man's face was covered in scratches when authorities arrived on the scene. They were arrested and each charged with four counts of child endangerment. "They were punished", said Akin.

The couple has had contact with the Department of Children Services before Tuesday's investigation, according to DFPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales.

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