Source AP ©

Couple locks up 2 sons in dog cage

When the father of two boys used drugs and wanted to punish them, he  locked the boys up in a dog cage, while one had to wear a shock collar.

The parents appeared briefly in court Thursday on charges of child endangerment and making or selling drugs in front of the children, ages 10 and 5.

Jessica Botzko, 28, and John Westover, 37, were arrested a day earlier, after the boys ran away from home and were found on a neighbor's porch.

The boys told officers that they had been abused and locked in a dog cage at their home, said police Capt. Ray Carroll. They also said their father put them in the cage when he was using drugs, according to Carroll.

Court documents say the 10-year-old boy was repeatedly shocked at the family's home through a remote-controlled collar meant as a training device for animals.

Police searched the family's mobile home and found it filled with garbage, Carroll said.

The couple's hearings were continued because neither had a lawyer and the parents remained in jail.

Another Ohio couple, Michael and Sharen Gravelle of Norwalk, were convicted in February of child abuse and endangerment for keeping some of their 11 special-needs adopted children in wire and wood enclosures.

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