Deputies in Laurens County said a pregnant woman faces numerous charges after a 2-year-old boy was found unresponsive and badly bruised in a filthy home filled with dozens of dead and dying animals.
Deputies said they were called to a home on Martin Lake Road just after 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Deputies arrived to find the boy unresponsive with bruises on his face, neck, back and other areas, according to Lt. Scott Franklin.
Deputies interviewed the mother, 25-year-old Savanah Victoria Morgan, who originally told them that the boy had choked while eating chips. Franklin said Morgan later changed her story and claimed that she dropped the child. Doctors said the child may have been dropped, but his injuries were too severe for that to be all that happened, Franklin said.
Morgan -- who's 8 months pregnant -- has been charged with child abuse, as well as two counts each of child neglect. She's also charged with animal cruelty.
Franklin said the 2-year-old was airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital, where he remained in the intensive care unit on Wednesday.
Deputies said two other young children, ages one and two, were living in the home, which was covered in trash, animal feces and in serious disrepair.
Franklin said what was most shocking was the number of dead and dying animals that were being kept in containers in the home.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in my 20 years doing this,” Franklin said.
Animal Control was called to the scene and seized about 90 animals, including cats, dogs, rodents, reptiles and tarantulas, Franklin said.
According to an incident report, deputies found six dead spiders, 10 dead pythons and 48 dead rats, among other dead and living animals.
Two of the surviving dogs were taken to the Laurens County Animal Shelter.
Morgan's other children have been placed in the custody of the state Department of Social Services (DSS).
Franklin said Wednesday that more charges will likely be filed in the case.
A judge set Morgan's bond at $50,000 for child abuse to inflict great bodily injury, $10,000 for each child neglect charge and $5,000 bond on animal cruelty.
The judge has ordered that Morgan have no contact with the children without DSS approval if she's released on bond. The judge also ordered that she not own any animal until the case is resolved.
The judge was told that the toddler is "looking at a major road to recovery," but was more responsive Wednesday than Tuesday night.
Morgan is 8 months pregnant, according to an incident report.
"Most of our officers probably were faced with something last night that they probably have not seen in their careers. It was a very sad situation to see something like this," Laurens Sheriff Ricky Chastain said.
On Thursday, a source at the Laurens County Sheriff's Office said the 2-year-old boy's condition was improving and that the boy was breathing on his own.
Deputies said the boy's father is being cooperative with investigators but could face charges.
Copyright 2015 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.