Malnourished children removed from filthy home, Mother charged - WKRN News 2

Malnourished children removed from filthy home, Mother charged

Posted: Updated: July 15, 2010 05:20 PM CDT
Officers responded to the home around 7 a.m. amid reports horses were running wild in the street. Officers responded to the home around 7 a.m. amid reports horses were running wild in the street.
Dorothy Kifer, 37, was booked into the Metro jail Thursday afternoon. Dorothy Kifer, 37, was booked into the Metro jail Thursday afternoon.
15 malnourished dogs were removed from the property. 15 malnourished dogs were removed from the property.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Four children were removed from a home Thursday morning in Antioch, found to be filthy and overrun with animals.

The home is located on Maxwell Road, near the Davidson/Rutherford county line.

The children's mother, 37-year-old Dorothy Kifer, is now charged with child neglect and 26 counts of animal cruelty.

Ambulances were called to Kifer's home and transported the children, ages 19 months, two years, four years and six years old, to Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Police found no furniture inside the house, no air conditioning and no running water.

Metro Health officials also found sewage and wastewater on the ground and determined that the home is not fit for human occupancy. 

The children, who appeared to be covered in mud and animal feces, were malnourished and dehydrated, according to officers on the scene. 

Metro police spokesperson Kristin Mumford said, "The children appeared to be very listless, the heat, covered in what appeared to be dog feces, animal feces and mud."

Between 15 and 20 dogs were found on the property, in addition to eight horses, chickens, a donkey and a goat.

Animal Control personnel removed 15 malnourished, underweight dogs from the property and recovered three dead dogs inside the residence, one of which had been there so long it had started to decompose.

"Certainly no one should be living in that environment, including animals and children, so this was quite a day for us, very intense and emotional," said Metro Animal Services Director Judy Ladebauche.  "We just all sincerely hope the children are going to be okay."

The children's father is a member of the Tennessee National Guard and arrived home from Iraq Thursday afternoon following a six-month deployment.

Kifer told officers he had nothing to do with the deplorable conditions of the home.

Metro police said late Tuesday the children have been released from the hospital and into the custody of the Department of Children's Services.

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