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Bulls Gap couple facing abuse charges

Jeff Bobo • Apr 11, 2007 at 11:48 AM

Two children were removed from the family's home in Bulls Gap and taken into custody by the Department of Children's Services after police visited the home and described their living conditions as ‘deplorable' and ‘filthy.'

BULLS GAP - Two children were removed from a Bulls Gap residence Tuesday that police said was filled with garbage, dog feces and dog urine.

Two of the three bedrooms in the house were occupied solely by dogs, police said.

The third bedroom was reserved for human use, but all three were allegedly unclean with dog feces and urine stains covering the floor.

The parents, Jeffery David McClanahan, 35, and Rachel Leigh Blackburn, 35, will be arraigned on one count each of child abuse April 18 in Hawkins County Sessions Court.

Tuesday evening the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office visited the house at 2017 Walters Drive, Bulls Gap, in response to a report of possible child neglect.

The HCSO didn't release the ages of the children except to say they are both under 13.

Police described their living conditions as "deplorable" and "filthy."

HCSO Cpl. Keith Long stated in his report that when he arrived at the residence he observed "large amounts of trash, dirty clothing, and several pieces of animal feces lying throughout the residence."

The only food in the residence was a jar of peanut butter.

The Department of Children's Services was called to the residence and took the children into custody.

Sheriff Roger Christian said there was no evidence of physical abuse to the children, and to the best of his knowledge both children were found to be healthy.

Christian added, however, that the children's living conditions were extremely unhealthy.

"It was bad," Christian said. "They had dogs, and I guess the dogs stayed inside all the time because there was feces everywhere. Apparently the dogs lived in two of the bedrooms, and there was one bedroom for the humans."

McClanahan and Blackburn were released on $2,000 bond each Tuesday night after spending about three hours in the Hawkins County Jail.

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