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Two arrested after 9-year-old kept in dog kennel in Racine County

NORWAY, Wis. (CBS 58) - On Wednesday, September 6 at approximately 11:51 a.m. the Racine County Sheriff’s Office along with Racine County Human Services Department responded to an elementary school in Wind Lake for a Child Abuse investigation.

During the investigation, officials learned that a 9-year-old was being held in a dog kennel at night and occasionally throughout the day at her house in the town of Norway. Additionally, it was learned that the dog kennel was padlocked to prevent the child from escaping.

Investigators responded to the house and found the dog kennel which measured, 10” in height, 8 feet in length, and 4 feet in width.

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said, “I was sickened at what I witnessed last night. This by far, is one of the most disturbing and heart-wrenching cases of child abuse I’ve seen, it doesn’t get much worse than this.”

A 47-year-old woman, the grandmother of the 9-year-old, and 48-year-old man, the homeowner, from Wind Lake were taken into custody for causing mental harm to a child, false imprisonment and several other felony charges:

The victim and another sibling were removed from the home and placed into protective custody by Racine County Human Services.

"You've seen the photo. Cardboard on the floor; a couple of blankets. I wouldn't treat my own dog that way," said Schmaling.

The sheriff believes this kennel may have been purchased only for the 9-year-old. Investigators found cats and chickens, but no dogs on the property.

"At the end of the day I find some comfort knowing that this 9-year-old and sibling are in a safe, warm environment, and a warm bed this evening. To the contrary the caregivers are in custody. They're locked in a jail cell where they ought to be," said Schmaling.

The sheriff's office expects the caregivers will be charged tomorrow. 

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