9-year-old girl held in padlocked dog kennel, police say

(ABC7 photos via Racine County Sheriff's Office)

NORWAY, Wisconsin -- Two caretakers are facing child abuse charges after allegedly holding a 9-year-old girl in a dog kennel at her home in Norway, Wisconsin.

Dale Deavers, 48, and Gail LaLonde, 47, were taken into custody for causing mental harm to a child, false imprisonment, and several other felony charges, according to the Racine County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators said they learned the child was being kept in the kennel - which measured 4 feet 10 inches in height, 4 feet in length and 8 feet wide - at night and occasionally throughout the day.

They said the dog kennel was padlocked to prevent the child from escaping.

"I was sickened at what I witnessed last night," said Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling. "This by far is one of the most disturbing and heart-wrenching cases of child abuse I've seen, it doesn't get much worse than this."

The victim and a sibling have been placed into protective custody.

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