Most moms and dads dote on their kids, taking care of their every need and raising them to be respectable and compassionate human beings. But a minority seem to not care at all about their kids’ happiness, let alone their health or wellbeing. Those awful parents make this list for their neglectful and abusive treatment of their children, innocent little ones who were subjected to awful living conditions and poor treatment at the hands of the people who are supposed to protect them.
Every parent struggles sometimes, and that’s normal. What’s not normal is neglecting to take care of your kids’ basic needs, especially for days or weeks on end.
Fortunately, police action, concerned neighbors, and routine welfare checks discovered these kids before it was too late, and helped to get them healthy and happy again. Read on to find out about these fifteen most dramatic rescues of neglected kids.
15 Mother Tormenter
At their first day in their new home, Christopher, Alloma, and Victoria had no idea the horrific torture they would endure as foster children to Eunice Spry, now called Britain’s most sadistic mother. After two decades of living under Eunice’s roof, the three had suffered so badly, their narration of events made police officers cry. As the Mirror reported, the trio were forced to sleep in a cold barn that was infested with rats and were routinely denied food.
The scariest part about this “mother” abusing the children in her care was that she never showed anger or yelled, only inflicted devastating abuse like shoving sticks down the kids’ throats and forcing them to vomit if she suspected that they had snuck food. In 2007, Eunice Spry was finally sentenced to fourteen years in prison, but she was out in half that time.
14 Raised By A Five-Year-Old
When the two siblings, a boy and a girl, were taken into CPS care as toddlers, authorities reported that no adult took responsibility for raising them. The children’s five-year-old sister was their protector, the Denver Post stated, and none of the children were able to speak. Neither of the younger children were toilet trained or ate normally- the boy wore diapers until he was almost seven.
Because the children were so severely neglected as infants and toddlers, when they were rescued at ages 2 and 4, they had violent temper tantrums and would scream and cry when they weren’t able to communicate. While it’s amazing that these kids were rescued, and later adopted by their loving foster parents, years later four more children were rescued from the same filthy apartment and the same neglectful parents.
13 Parents Jailed For Sixty Years
21-year-old parents Justin and Brittany Alston were just waiting for their starving nine-month-old baby to die, authorities speculate, when friends found the infant near death in the trailer the couple lived in. Fox 4 reported that the parents may not have fed the baby for two months or more, and he was only rescued in time because teenagers who were over partying at the Alstons’ heard the poor thing crying.
These awful excuses for parents were rightfully charged and sentenced to sixty years in prison, after jurors spent a mere forty minutes looking over evidence at their trial. After he was rescued, baby Riley had to be fed via IV until he grew healthy enough to eat normally. Months later, his foster mother shared a photo of the newly plump infant looking happy and showing off a toothy smile.
12 Third-Degree Burns
Four adults were arrested, Dallas News reported, after authorities found three children covered with dog feces and open sores living in a rundown house in Texas. After CPS arrived for a welfare check and one of the adults refused them entry, the police came out and later arrested the man.
The house was disgusting, covered in mold and animal feces smeared on every surface. The three children were taken immediately, and the three remaining adults were arrested at the scene. Two of the babies, a 1 and 2 year old, had blisters all over their shoulders and wore dirty diapers. The parents of the toddlers say that the kids had blisters due to sunburn, and authorities said that the damage to their skin was third degree burns. The status of the third child was not released.
11 Zombie Children Covered In Excrement
Four children under the age of five were rescued by police, the Metro reported, after they were found in “feral and dangerous” conditions. Police were at the house for other reasons, but when they saw the children’s environment- dirty diapers strewn all over the house, exposed carpet tacks and no flooring, feces smeared on all the walls, and no food in the house but cannabis in a slow cooker- they immediately took the children into care.
After a court hearing, the children were returned to their parents, despite the parents’ admitting that they neglected all four of the children, none of whom spoke or showed any emotion. However, the court sentenced the father of the children to 14 months in jail for neglect. The mother received the same sentence, but hers was suspended for two years with the requirement that she seek help for mental health conditions.
10 Relieved To Go Into Foster Care
The Modesto Bee reported on the rescue of nine children who lived in a house that was condemned by the city and infested with cockroaches. The kids, who ranged in age from two to nine, all slept in one bedroom in an apartment with their mom, aunt, and aunt’s boyfriend. When authorities took the children from the home, other adults were there, all drunk. Not only was the house filthy, the only running water was in the bathtub, which was full of dirty clothes.
The nine-year-old girl, the oldest of the kids, reported that the only food she ate was hot lunch at school, and that she didn’t own any other clothes than the dirty ones she was wearing. In addition to the cockroaches, the whole house was covered in garbage and empty alcohol containers, sharp knives, dirty dishes, broken appliances, and an illegally wired washing machine.
9 It's The Bedridden Wife's Fault
Two young children were removed from their parents’ care after a neighbor called the police after hearing the children cry for hours at a time. The children were two and three, Metro reported, and both of them were covered in sores and infested with head lice when social workers showed up to remove them. Evidence shared at trial noted that the children only communicated with screaming and primal noises, and the only word they knew was “car.”
What’s most shocking is that the house, outside the bedroom the children were closed in, was clean and tidy, the fridge full of food, and new clothes and toys were still in their packaging in another room. The father blamed the bedridden mother and his older child for requiring his full attention, which he blamed for the toddlers being disgustingly neglected.
8 His Worst Case Of Neglect
Officer Holste, a police detective in Florida, happened upon six-year-old Danielle in emaciated condition, wearing a diaper and weighing fewer than fifty pounds. The girl was living in a room covered with urine, feces, and cockroaches scurrying in every corner. The detective was quoted as telling the Tampa Bay Times that it was the worst case of neglect that he’s ever seen, says the SF Globe.
When Danielle was rescued, she couldn’t walk or talk, and went on to have great difficulty learning to eat actual food. Her doctors weren’t sure she’d ever function normally, and diagnosed her with “environmental autism” as a result of the agonizing conditions she experienced in early childhood. Fortunately, Danielle’s recovery began with her adoption into a loving family, and she continued to make more progress than her doctors ever expected.
7 Suffers Long After Rescue
A five-year-old boy was found by police in a locked bedroom in his parents’ house, where he was fed underneath a crack below the door. For weeks, the little boy was trapped in the room, which was covered in dirty diapers and other trash, while his parents carried on with their everyday lives. While her son starved and shivered in his bedroom alone, the mother of the child posted pictures of food she had made herself on social media, the Daily Mail notes.
The mother was also quoted as saying she was too busy having intercourse with her partner to take proper care of the then-four-year-old. The child wasn’t potty trained and had behavioral problems that were pronounced when he moved into a foster home, where he had meltdowns about closed doors and often banged his head against the wall.
6 Living Among Animal Carcasses
A two-year-old was found unresponsive in his mother’s home, WYFF4 reported, along with two other toddlers and a host of dead and dying animals. In total, authorities removed over 90 animals from the infested home, including dogs, cats, rodents, reptiles, and tarantulas.
At first, the mother of the toddler, who was pregnant, claimed that the unconscious toddler had choked on a snack he was eating. She later changed her story to say that she dropped the child. In addition to finding the little boy in cardiac arrest, he also had bruises all over his body, including his face and neck. Doctors said that he had bleeding on his brain, and would face a long road to recovery. Thankfully, the other two children at the house were not injured, and both parents faced child neglect and animal cruelty charges.
5 Accused Of Being A Witch
This once-emaciated little boy was cast out on the streets of his hometown in Nigeria because his parents thought he was a witch. His savior arrived in the form of a Danish aid worker, Anja Ringgren Loven. The photograph of her giving the sickly and starved toddler, nicknamed Hope, a drink of water. The dazed and near-death toddler had stumbled around the streets where his parents lived, with worms in his tiny stomach and living off scraps of food for eight months.
Happily, after substantial donations from concerned people worldwide, Hope was rescued and given proper medical treatment, which included daily blood transfusions and treatment for the worm infection. Hope moved into the orphanage run by Anja and her husband, the Daily Mail reports, and is now in great health and is attending school.
4 A Raid Discovers “Street Urchins”
Prosecutors called the conditions “squalid” and uninhabitable for humans, but both parents walked free in this child neglect case stemming from a raid for illicit substances. When authorities arrived at the property, paraphernalia was in open view and within reach of the two children who lived in the house. Authorities told the Daily Mail that these were the worst conditions they’d seen, noting that while police were on the scene, the parents fed the children from two filthy bottles that were lying on the floor, amongst urine, feces, dirty dishes, trash, and other household items.
Both the children had lice all over them and a number of rotten teeth- one child had to have sixteen teeth extracted. Their hair was matted and dirty, and their hands and feet were filthy, while the parents had no problem finding money for their filthy habits and new shoes.
3 Dad Neglects Kids While Mom Works
A mother of two children found starving in a crib was alone at home while their father was at work. He had just arrived home after months away for business. Both children were emaciated and their ribcages were showing, the Star Tribune reported, and one of the children appeared to be trying to eat feces. In the children’s dire state, one was unable to walk, and both were visibly deteriorating. The mother immediately took the children to the hospital, where they were diagnosed with severe malnourishment and given IV fluids.
The father stated that he had noticed the children weren’t eating much lately, and that he didn’t have anyone to look after them while he worked 12-hour shifts, so he left them alone in the home, which lacked electricity service but which he used to grow cannabis.
2 Fed Through Gate
A couple locked their three young kids in a gated room 24/7, the Daily Mail reported, and fed them through gaps in the gate that kept the children locked in. The room was stained with urine and feces, and all three kids, a toddler boy and two preschool-aged girls, were apparently trapped there daily. The mother was said to have worked at a Holiday Inn Express, which is shocking since caging her children is unnatural and abhorrent behavior that makes us think she’s an awful human being in general.
Both parents were sentenced to six years upon admitting to neglecting their three children. Two older girls were not mentioned in the court proceedings regarding the harm to their younger siblings, and the Daily Mail notes that the couple reportedly has several other older children. The parents received suspended sentences, and indefinite supervised probation. They also weren’t allowed unsupervised contact with the three children.
1 Four Siblings Looking For Safety
Shockingly, the two nonverbal toddlers and their five-year-old caretaker were not the only children rescued from neglectful parents Lorinda Bailey and Wayne Sperling, the Denver Post reported. Following the rescue of their first three children, the awful couple went on to have four more children- all boys- who were found years after their older siblings were placed for adoption with loving families.
Bailey and Sperling’s parental rights were terminated when their first three children were found harmed and neglected in the couple’s home, but when four more children were found in the same condition- nonverbal, covered in feces and surrounded by trash- they finally faced jail time. Because of the boys’ severe condition, CPS found it difficult to place them in a home that would safely meet their unique needs, leaving them jumping from foster home to foster home in the process.