Saying the scene shocks “your conscience,” a Texas district attorney last week announced charges against a mother after police discovered eight children – “including a 2-year-old boy chained in the backyard and a 3-year-old girl tied to a door with a dog leash” – unsupervised at a San Antonio home, reports The Associated Press.
Porucha Phillips, 34, the mother of six, was charged with two felony counts of injury to a child by omission, writes The AP. “Prosecutors said officials were searching for the parents of the toddlers restrained outside, who authorities believe are siblings,” the report says.
The children, including five girls and three boys, range in ages from 10 months old to 10 years old.
From the Chicago Tribune:
“I would describe it as disgusting,” Bexar County District Attorney Nicholas LaHood said of the scene. “It shocks your conscience when you think what kind of individual could treat children, who in my opinion are gifts from God, like this.”
One of the toddlers found outside had a metal chain strapped to his ankle with the other end of the chain fixed to the ground, said Bexar County Sheriff’s Office spokesman James Keith. “It was the same kind of setup you would use for a dog,” he said.
Two of the children, including one with a broken arm, remained hospitalized more than 12 hours after deputies first arrived to the house. The other six were placed in foster care. Officials were concerned that all the children may be malnourished, said Patrick Crimmins, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
The father, who had been working, showed up after the deputies arrived. The report also notes that the family does not have a history with Texas welfare officials.