WARNING: This story contains details that many will find disturbing. Reader discretion is advised.
REX, Ga. -- A complaint about a dead dog in a cage led police to discovering several young children living in a house allegedly "littered with feces and urine."
According to Clayton County Police, a concerned citizen contacted animal control officials about a dead dog in a cage at a home on Whitney Way in Rex, Ga. on Sunday.
The Clayton County Animal Control officer found three dead dogs on the property, including two puppies in a cage in a backyard and an adult dog in a separate area.
Police say a preliminary investigation revealed that the animals had been starved to death.
It's believed the puppies, who were determined to be between 6 and 8 months old, had been dead for more than two days prior to being found. According to a police release, the puppies were "covered with so many fleas that it was hard to determine what color they were."
The adult dog had been dead between 25 and 50 days, police said.
While speaking with suspects at the house's door, a responding detective said a "foul stench emitting from within" the home led to more disturbing discoveries.
The detective described an "overwhelming odor of feces and urine throughout the home." The floor's surface was said to be "littered with feces and urine, clothing was strewn all over in rooms and bags filled with garbage were throughout the home and garage."
The detective learned that three children, ages 10, 7 and 3, were in the home and contacted the Department of Family and Children Services. The children were placed in the care of a relative.
Police arrested 33-year-old Ki-Kito Riki Townsend and 32-year-old Kristina Leigh Price on three counts of 1st degree cruelty to children and three counts of animal cruelty.
A neighbor, Natasha Bell, told 11Alive's Jon Shirek that the family was in the process of moving out of the house, which they rented. Bell said the family's home had been burglarized last week. She said that she couldn't believe the charges.
“That’s not true," Bell said. "He loved them dogs, and I don’t think they’ll do anything to harm the kids or the dogs.”
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