‘A Carpet Of Crunching Bones’: Kids And Animals Saved From Horrific Conditions

Two children, along with more than 200 animals, were rescued from horrific conditions this week from two separate New Jersey properties owned by the same people, Chad Lloyd and Kimberly Brown.

The rescue of the kids and the animals began last Wednesday when five piglets escaped from one of the properties. The animal control officer rounded up the piglets, but when he went to return them to Chad Lloyd and Kimberly Brown, he discovered the horrific conditions that not only the piglets were living in, but literally hundreds of other animals, as well as a 3-year-old child and a 10-year-old child.

“When he walked into the backyard there were dead animals’ bodies lying all over, mounds and piles of them,” Tamala Lester, founding director of the Barnyard Sanctuary, told the Dodo. “Baby farm animals for the most part.” The Barnyard Sanctuary, which rescues farm animals, has taken an estimated 150 animals from the properties into their custody.

Officers from the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) were called in. They found numerous dead animals all over the property. New Jersey SPCA spokesman Matt Stanton described the situation.

“It was crazy. Literally a pile of dead animals in various stages of decay three feet from the house.”

More dead animals were found inside the house, and when authorities discovered that Lloyd had another property in his name, officers were dispatched to the second location to find more of the same.

“They had live and dead animals in the house,” Lester said. “And when the babies died, they would open up the sliding glass door on the side of the house and dump them outside in a pile.” It’s reported that the animals died primarily from a lack of food and water.

The total body count of dead animals was last at 75, but, Lester says, that’s expected to rise significantly, as there are still actual piles of dead animals that have yet to be counted. Lester estimates that there are hundreds of dead animals and says that it’s one of the worst cases ever seen of animal abuse and neglect. She explained that officers occasionally get one dead animal during rescues, but the case of Chad Lloyd and Kimberly Brown is far deeper and far more disturbing that that.

“[…]You walk in and you’re literally on a carpet of crunching bones … it was hard to walk around them.”

The conditions of the several hundred living animals found and rescued on the properties were also very poor. “They were little babies that still had their umbilical cords, and they had not had food or water or anything,” Lester said. “They were so weak that they couldn’t walk. We had to carry them.”

As horrible as it was to find hundreds of decomposing animal bodies, the case got worse when it was discovered that two children were living in those conditions, as well. The police state that Brown and Lloyd committed acts of child abuse and child neglect by allowing the two children “access to the decaying bodies and failing to provide the children with adequate heat and hot water at the residence since February.” The relationship between the couple and the two children is unknown, but the prosecutor’s office says that Lloyd and Brown “had a legal duty for the care of the two children.”

“That he could do that to animals is bad enough,” Lester said of Chad Lloyd. “That he could do that to baby animals is a little bit worse. But that he could teach a 3-year-old that it’s okay to do that, and have them live in a bedroom where there are live animals and dead animals with E. coli, is just reprehensible.”

Many animals have been rescued by various groups in New Jersey, and private citizens have stepped up and offered to adopt others. Many of the animals remain on the farm for now, however, because of the need for quarantining them due to illness. A number of the animals have E. coli and upper respiratory infections. The majority of the animals are emaciated, and the pigs have mange so severe, Lester says, that they are “just ripping their skins off.”

Both Chad Lloyd, 36, and Kimberly Brown, 22, have been charged with two civil counts and two criminal counts of animal cruelty, as well as the child endangerment charges. The charges related to the animal abuse each carries a possible penalty of a fine up to $1,000 and a 6-month jail term.

There is no doubt that the conditions the two children and hundreds of animals lived in were horrific, but their situations are definitely brighter now that they have been rescued.

April is Child Abuse Prevention month. Learn the signs and symptoms of child abuse so that you may be a part in its prevention here.

[Photo by Joern Pollex / Getty Images]