Law enforcement officials in Victorville detained five women for raising multiple dogs and children in a home with inadequate food and water, and unhealthy living conditions. The authorities described the living conditions as “uninhabitable.”
Deputies from the Victorville Police Department arrested five women after they discovered 20 children and 20 dogs living in squalid conditions. While none of the children or the dogs appeared abused, two of the dogs had already died and their carcasses were still inside the housing complex. Appalled at the “uninhabitable home with several serious health and safety issues,” the deputies swiftly rescued the children and the canines. While the children rescued from the Victorville home are being cared for by the Department of Children and Family Services, the dogs were taken away by Animal Control. The animals will most likely be sent to rescue shelters and hopefully to adoption centers after recovering from possible malnourishment and dehydration.
The Victorville Police Department had responded to a mid-morning call and reached the home in the 15800 block of Eto Camino Road, Victorville in Bernardino County, California. The police hadn’t responded to a domestic disturbance call or a tip about animal and child abuse. Instead, they were assisting the Department of Children and Family Services, who had already deemed the living conditions to be grossly inadequate and deplorable for the five women, let alone the 20 children and 20 dogs.
According to local News channel KSBY, San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies arrested the five women at the home Thursday on suspicion of child cruelty. Thereafter, they rescued 20 children. While there were reports about 20 dogs, the deputies could rescue only 18. Two of the dogs had already died from as-yet unconfirmed causes. However, their carcasses were still on the premises.
The authorities strongly suspect two of the women were under the influence of a controlled substance and have been booked accordingly. The rest of the women were booked on suspicion of child cruelty. While the search of premises may be conducted in the next few days, officials are likely to discover some incriminating evidence of drug abuse. The department later released an official statement that noted the following.
“The home was found to be uninhabitable, with several serious health and safety issues. The sleeping conditions were inadequate, there was no electricity or gas, and the carpet, walls, and furniture were in severe disrepair.”
“The sleeping conditions were inadequate, there was no electricity or gas, and the carpet, walls, and furniture were in severe disrepair”
“There was an insufficient amount of food in the home for the 20 children — who ranged in age from 2 and a half months to 17 years old — and five adults who lived there.”
Incidentally, Code Enforcement officials had conducted a survey of the premises earlier and had already deemed the Victorville home completely unfit for humans or animals. The officials from the Code Enforcement had found several unhealthy code violations including the thriving presence of black mold. While a majority of black mold isn’t dangerous, according to Award Space, there are quite a few types of fungi that can cause serious symptoms and health problems such as mental impairment, breathing problems, damage to internal organs and sometimes even death in extreme cases.
Animal Control officials were able to remove 18 dogs. They noted that none of the dogs had any access to water and seemed unhealthy. It is likely their food and water may have been inadequate and irregular.
An investigation has been launched and police have urged citizens to come forth with any information about the severe neglect and possible abuse of the children and dogs. The Victorville Police Department has assured complete anonymity to people who call on the We-Tip Hotline at (800) 782-7463.
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