A woman has been arrested in the San Antonio area and charged with child abuse after deputies found a 2-year-old child chained to the ground and another on a leash tied to a door in the backyard of her residence, officials said on Friday.
Deputies arrived at the home late on Thursday after receiving complaints from neighbors about children crying in the yard, the Bexar County Sheriff's office said.
A total of eight children were at the residence but sheriff's office spokesman James Keith said there were no adults present when deputies arrived.
Porucha Phillips, 34, was charged with injury to a child by omission with serious bodily injury, the sheriff's office said.
Phillips is the mother of the six children found inside the residence and was taking care of the other two children found bound in the yard. She may have been running an unlicensed day care operation from her home, the office said.
"To say that this is horrific is an understatement," Keith said.
The father of the six children was also being questioned by the office.
When deputies arrived at the home they found a 2-year-old boy chained to the ground "like you would an animal," Keith said. "A few feet away we found a little girl who was tied to a door with a dog leash."
Keith said deputies sent the two children to a hospital, where they were being treated for a variety of injuries. He said there was evidence indicating they had been abused before.
"When deputies went inside the house, they found six more children. The youngest was 10 months old, the oldest was 13 years old. No parents, no adults," he said. "These kids had all been left to fend for themselves."