Officers responding to a home in the 5800 block of Whitney Way found decomposing dogs on the property and a family of five living among garbage and human waste, according to the Clayton County Police Department.
Townsend and Prince lived at the home with their three children, ages 10, seven and three.
Clayton County Animal Control was called to the home on a tip from a citizen who saw a dead dog in a cage on the property. When officers arrived around 1:50 p.m. Sunday, they discovered three dead dogs — two puppies and one adult animal.
The two puppies were found in a cage in the back yard, CCPD spokeswoman Sgt. Ashanti Marbury stated in a press release. Based on their size, officers assumed the puppies were approximately three or four months old.
“It is believed that the puppies were deceased for more than 48 hours prior to being located by the animal control officer,” Marbury said. “They were described by the animal control officer to be have been covered with so many fleas that it was hard to determine what color they were."
After speaking with the suspects, officers determined the puppies were actually between six and eight months old. A preliminary investigation revealed the puppies were starved to death, according to Marbury.
The adult dog was found in a “severely decomposed state” in separate location in the back yard, Marbury said. The dog’s state indicated it had been dead for some time, between 25 and 50 days.
Based on their preliminary findings, animal control officers called in a detective with the department.
“While speaking to the suspects at the door of the residence, a foul stench emitting from within prompted the detective to inquire about the conditions within the home,” Marbury said. “Upon entering the home, it was discovered that the conditions within were deplorable.”
The detective described an “overwhelming odor of feces and urine,” Marbury reported. He found the home in disarray with floors throughout covered in clothing and garbage bags and “littered” with human waste.
When the detective learned the couple had children, he contacted the Department of Family and Children Services and the children were removed. The three children are now in the care of a relative, Marbury said.
Townsend and Prince are currently being held in Clayton County Jail. Their bond has been set for $25,000 each. The couple is scheduled to appear in Clayton County Magistrate Court for a preliminary hearing Jan. 24.
(Clayton News Daily - Dec 14, 2016)