DCS has a history with mother facing child neglect, animal cruelty charges

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 7:16pm

A judge reduced the bond for the Antioch woman arrested last month on numerous animal cruelty charges and one of child neglect after her four children were found living in filth.

At a Tuesday morning preliminary hearing for Dorothy Kifer, 37, Judge Leon Ruben cut her bond amount in half to $210,000 and bound the case over to a grand jury, where Kifer could face additional charges, according to Susan Niland, spokeswoman for the District Attorney General’s office.

Kifer faces 18 counts of aggravated animal cruelty and one count of aggravated child neglect after Metro police were called to the Kifer’s home on Maxwell Road in Antioch on July 15 on a report that Kifer’s horses were running loose in the neighborhood.

Once inside, officers found two dead dogs — one mostly decomposed and another that had died recently — along with dog feces and urine on the floor. Fifteen more dogs were inside the house.

Kifer’s children — ages 6, 4, 2 and 18 months — were also found inside the home, covered in mud and feces, according to police arrest reports. They are currently in state custody.

The one child neglect charge was for the youngest child, Niland said, but more charges regarding the other children could come in the grand jury phase.

Rob Johnson, communications director for the state Department of Children Services, said the four children remained in state custody Wednesday. Johnson said DCS had received multiple referrals in multiple counties against Kifer and her husband.

Testimony at the hearing revealed DCS received at least seven prior referrals.