Tennessee toddler found locked in small cage, surrounded by animals, including snakes and mice

Published 2:33 pm Friday, June 26, 2020

A Tennessee toddler was found locked in a small cage with animals and bugs surrounding him, including a 10-foot boa constrictor large enough to have killed the child, police say.

Henry County (Tennessee) Sheriff’s deputies were responding to a tip about a possible animal cruelty case when the child was found.

The child, believed to have been approximately 18 months old, was not injured but was hungry, police said.

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Three adults inside the home, including some of the child’s relatives, were charged with a number of crimes, including child abuse.

Police said the house included nothing for the child indicating he spent much or all of his time inside the 4-foot by 4-foot cage.

Thomas Jefferson Brown, 46, Heather Scarbough, 42, and Charles Brown, 82, were all arrested.

Police seized the animals at the trailer that included:

  • 8 snakes
  • 531 mice, hamsters and rats
  • 56 dogs
  • 10 rabbits
  • 86 chickens and roosters
  • 4 parakeets
  • 3 cats
  • 1 pheasant