The foster parents of an 11-year-old boy have been arrested after the child was found handcuffed to their porch with a dead chicken around his neck.
Dorian Lee Harper and Wanda Sue Larson, both 57, were arrested after police discovered the shivering boy living in 'shocking conditions' with his siblings in North Carolina, in the US, on Friday.
The boy was found handcuffed and shivering by a county sheriff's deputy who was looking for a pig that had been reported loose on the property.
Harper, the boy's foster father confronted the deputy, before another child released a pack of big dogs who chased him back to his vehicle.
When back-up arrived, police searched the house, finding five children aged between eight and 14. They were taken into the custody of Social Services and Harper was arrested.
Harper is an emergency room nurse at the local hospital, and has been placed on administrative leave. Larson, who was arrested later, is a supervisor at the local Department of Social Security.
Larson has also been charged with failure to discharge her duty as a public official.
Locals describe the family, who live on a secluded property with a menagerie of animals, as 'reclusive'.
Gene Wallace, who lives across the street, told local TV station WCNC: "Pigs, donkeys, llamas, the whole gamut. If we complain about their animals being on our property they get mad or they won't come to the door when you go over there."
The pair are being held under more than $1m bond.