INDIANAPOLIS - Police and child welfare workers have removed two young children from a west Indianapolis home, after they said dog feces littered every room and was smeared on both youngsters' bare feet.
Police called for Child Protective Services at the home near West Washington Street and South Norfolk Street on Monday, after police answered a call claiming that the father was suicidal.
When police arrived, officers wrote in their report that each room of the home contained piles of waste from four large dogs.
Officers wrote, "The children had dog feces on their bare feet."
CPS caseworkers arrived and ruled that the 2-year-old girl and her 1-year-old brother should be immediately removed for their safety, police said.
Officers and child welfare caseworkers said a stench filled the home and there were no sheets on any bed for the children.
No charges were filed, so the Call 6 Investigators are not naming the parents.
The 24-year-old father told the Call 6 Investigators that the cleanliness of the home had gotten away from him due to what he called "family issues," but he said he was trying to clean it up and make repairs so that he can work toward getting his children returned to the home.
"We're getting it taken care of," he said, adding that he's never had any problems with the children's home before this.
"I should have put extra effort to it and none of this would have happened," he said while starting to cry.
He denied that either child had dog feces on their feet, saying they simply liked to play in the dirt. He said each child would routinely get two or three baths every day.
"I gotta get my kids back," he said "They're our world.... I can't exactly sleep all the way without my kids."
Several pieces of furniture and bags full of trash were placed outside the home on Tuesday afternoon, and the father had paint splotches on him as he said he was cleaning up and making repairs.
"It's all going to be done by tonight," he said, thanks to several friends working to help with the project.
He said he is a stay-at-home father, while his 22-year-old fiance works at a grocery chain.
He insisted there were never four large dogs living in the home, and he said there were only piles of dog droppings in one room.
"It wasn't that bad," he said.
He also said the only reason that sheets were missing from one child's bed is that they were being laundered.
CPS took the children into emergency custody, placing them in foster care as they monitor the couple's progress with cleanup.
The father said he was planning to meet with caseworkers later in the day and would try to convince them that the children should be returned.
"We're getting our kids back. I couldn't sleep last night without my kids," he said.
When asked whether he felt the cleanup would make for a good place for the children, he replied, "The kids had a good place to begin with."
When pressed on why police would note dog feces on the bare feet of both his children, the father answered, "That's a lie," and asserted again that they only had dirt on their feet from playing.
He said the family only lives with a small dog and a pit bull that remains outside most of the time. He said a relative had a third dog in the house when police arrived, but he denied that dog feces were scattered in every room, as police had reported.
He also said he was undergoing counseling for the "family issues" that brought police to his home in the first place.