WEST TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - The Vigo County Sheriff's Department and the Vigo County Health Department were called to a home at 2346 US 150 in West Terre Haute, Indiana.
Authorities from several branches in Vigo County removed five people from a West Terre Haute home Thursday.
They also removed more than 20 dogs – three of them found dead in the basement. They also removed one bird and two cats.
The Vigo County Sheriff's Department got a call from a concerned neighbor about possible animal cruelty at on US Highway 150 in West Terre Haute Thursday.
But when Animal Control got there, they found the situation was far greater than inhumane treatment of animals.
PHOTOS | Uninhabitable home
"This is by far, in my 21 years, totally unfit living conditions," said Vigo County Sheriff Greg Ewing.
Ewing has seen his share of intense images.
But inside this house is a scene he claims as the worst. Animal feces and dirty diapers --- people and animals living in it.
"The kids actually had animal feces smashed in their feet," said Ewing.
It's a house the Vigo County Board of Health says is uninhabitable.
"The conditions are just deplorable. It's bad, it's bad," Ewing said
Vigo County deputies say the homeowners ran a makeshift dog breeding operation. But the people living here didn't have permits to do so.
One nearby neighbor says she's called Animal Control many times before on this couple.
"We know the dogs aren't taken care of. He comes out maybe once a week food and water. But you can tell the level is so low they can't get to it," said Rosa Willis, neighbor.
And Willis says she's suspected some time the living conditions were less than desirable.
"He didn't really come outside with the little girl too often. But when he did, it was like, she was wearing nothing but underpants and you could tell she was really dirty. You could tell her hair hadn't been brushed. It was really sad to see," she said .
"It's very apparent with feces from one end of the house to the other end of the house, this isn't just something that occurred in the last eight hours or 12 hours or 24 hours. This has been a long, ongoing situation," said Ewing.
Both Ewing and Willis said they're glad to see the children and grandmother get the help they need.
"Basically rescuing those children and rescuing the mother, the registered owner of this house," Ewing said.
"Hopefully, everything works out," said Willis.
37-year-old Kenneth M. Walling and his wife, 32-year-old Tracy Walling were both arrested for Neglect of a Dependent a Class D Felony, Animal Neglect/Cruelty a Class A Misdemeanor.
Both are being held in the Vigo County Jail without bond.
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