UPDATE: A Soddy Daisy couple, charged with child neglect and animal cruelty, pleaded guilty in court on Wednesday. 

Officials with the Humane Educational Society say Dustin and Staci Tallent each pleaded guilty to three counts of class E felony child neglect and five counts of Class A misdemeanor animal neglect. 

READ MORE | UPDATE: Parents charged with child neglect appear in court

The couple was given one year of probation for each animal case and two years of state certified probation for the child neglect cases.

The couple can not own, possess or keep any animals for three years.

The Tallents are also required to do 80 hours of community service and pay courts costs, fines and probation fees.


PREVIOUS UPDATE: A tip led animal control officers to the Tallent's home back in June. When they went inside they discovered disturbing living conditions and now they're pushing to make sure the Tallents are held accountable.

"Deplorable conditions, trash all over the house, the kids locked in bedrooms," Animal Service Officer Leslie Stokes described. 

It’s those vivid details Stokes still thinks about when she remembers that day, she said it’s the worst call she's ever responded to. 

"We found animals that were all emaciated and also animals in the freezer with their food that they eat,” she said.

Three children were found locked in rooms and about a dozen animals were found covered in parasites. Dustin and Staci Tallent are facing aggravated child neglect and 30 charges of animal cruelty. 

In June, family members defended the couple and said there was no criminal intent.

"They're not intentionally cruel to animals. They’re neglectful. They don't think ahead,” said Wallace Tallent, father of suspect.

Now the couple's attorneys are trying to get the charges reduced, but Stokes doesn't want to see that.

"They have talked about making them down to misdemeanors which we have been fighting against and we do not want that to happen at all,” she said.

In July, a judge ordered that the Tallents cannot own animals while out on bond, but that's not good enough for these officers.

"The kids were too young to realize what's going on and that's why we do our job just to fight for them because they don't have a voice to fight for themselves,” Stokes explained.

The three children are staying with other family members and most of the surviving animals have since been adopted.