An Antioch woman was in court Tuesday after she was arrested last month when her kids were found living among dead animals and feces.
Dorothy Kifers husband, a soldier, returned from an overseas deployment the day his wife was arrested.
Jesse Kifer said he didn't know about the filthy conditions, but the district attorney suggested otherwise at the hearing.
"I walked all around the house looking in windows when I could. I noticed that dogs were running loose throughout the house, a large number of them. There were animal feces throughout the house, and there was an odor coming from the residence," said Metro Police Detective Thomas Rollins during the Tuesday hearing.
Police said Dorothy Kifer had a farm with 15 dogs, seven horses, a goat, donkey, cats and chickens, as well as four children ages 1 through 6.
All of the kids had what appeared to be feces on their face. They wore nothing but shorts. They had no shoes. Their feet, arms and chest appeared to be covered in animal feces, said Rollins during the hearing.
Police also found two dead dogs inside the house. One was decomposed, and another dead dog was found outside. Animal Control officers said they had a tough time cleaning up the situation, even while wearing masks.
The animals are one thing, but that's the first time I'd ever had a case where there were kids involved, said Bill Biggs of Metro Animal Control.
Kifer's husband in is the Army National Guard and had just returned from overseas when authorities discovered the house. Jesse Kifer testified Tuesday and said that he had no knowledge that his children were living in those conditions.
But a Metro detective said the Department of Childrens Services had seven prior referrals about the Kifer children and their living conditions.
In each of the incidents, animal feces, urine and dogs were found inside the residence, said Rollins.
Police said that those DCS incidents happened in Rutherford, DeKalb, Dickson and Cannon counties, but that the Kifers would move before DCS would return.
The judge reduced Dorothy Kifer's bond but sent the case on to the grand jury. Meanwhile, the couples four children are in state custody.