A Wyoming couple faces charges after they kept the woman’s seven-year old child in a cage outside, sometimes in bad weather.
The cage was made of metal and wood, and had a cot, a toothbrush and a bucket inside, along with other things, according to the Associated Press. The mother called it a playpen, but told the police that she put him there as punishment for bad behavior. The man said that he didn’t like the idea of a cage, but agreed to put him there for safety reasons.
The Laramie Boomerang reports that the child told police that he’d been in the cage off and on for several weeks, and that he’d slept, used the bathroom, and eaten in the cage, regardless of weather conditions. A metal chain, and a dog-style latch kept the cage closed and locked.
Reuters also reported on the situation, saying that they sometimes let him out to use the bathroom in the house. How humane of them. According to Reuters, Alexander Smith told police that he and his girlfriend were busy people. They needed to cage the poor child for his own safety while they were living their busy lives. Smith also told the police that they originally built the cage for the dog, but found that the boy “seemed to like the cage” after he followed the dog in there one day.
Worse, according to the Reuters piece, the boy told police that he had to start sleeping outside in the cage after sleeping arrangements in the house fell apart. Those arrangements? Making the boy sleep on the floor so the dog could sleep on the couch. Smith also admitted to not liking the child himself.
Neighbors had called the police several times since August 2013 about the couple abusing and neglecting the boy. However, it wasn’t until now that police charged the couple with anything. They say they did everything they legally could to ensure the boy’s welfare.
The couple is being held on a $100,000 bond, and their hearings are scheduled for this week. They could face up to 40 years in prison if convicted. The judge ought to throw everything at them for this; some people just should not be parents at all.