Filthy Home Leads To Parents' Arrest

Thursday, May 15th 2008, 10:35 pm
By: News On 6

Two Broken Arrow parents are behind bars, after reports that their home was filthy with animal waste.  The News On 6's Ashli Sims reports police removed three children and almost a dozen animals from what officers describe as deplorable conditions.

Several dogs still stand guard outside the Broken Arrow trailer.  Police say it was so filthy the residents were arrested for endangering their three children.  An anonymous tip pointed investigators to the home Tuesday afternoon.

"They entered the dwelling and saw that it was in deplorable conditions," said Broken Arrow Police Major Mark Irwin.

The police report details a home swarming with flies, a kitchen stacked high with dirty dishes, and animal feces ground into the carpet.  Officers say the children slept with their parents on a mattress in the living room.  They say the back bedroom had nearly a foot-tall pile of dog feces.  The children's rooms were also covered in animal waste and dirty clothes.

"There was a great deal of animal waste, a great deal of trash.  Anyone who walked into that home could tell you that it was not good conditions for children," said Broken Arrow Police Major Mark Irwin.

Broken Arrow Police arrested Jean Lewelling and Donald Collins for felony child endangerment and animal cruelty.  They're both in the Broken Arrow Jail.  The bond is set at $29,000.

Their children, a nine, eight and six year old, are all staying with their grandmother.

Animal control seized six dogs and five cats from the property.  Officials say the animals had no food or water.  They're holding them at the Broken Arrow animal shelter, until the case is resolved.

"It's just sad; it's disturbing, but we took the necessary action. The kids are safe. And, the animals are as well," said Broken Arrow Police Major Mark Irwin.

A spokesperson for the Broken Arrow Police Department says he doesn't believe the couple has a history with the Oklahoma Department of Human Service.  And, both the children and animals seemed healthy.

If the owners sign the animals over to the city, they will be eligible for adoption.