Osceola County, Fla. (CBS TAMPA) — A Florida 10-year-old showing up late to school wearing foul-smelling clothes told teachers he didn’t know the last time he’d had a bath, prompting deputies to search and later arrest the boy’s mother at their “deplorable” home.

The Osceola County sheriff’s office says that teachers at Ventura Elementary School noticed the boy was coming in late and wearing unwashed clothing that created a strong, disturbing smell in their classrooms. The student told the sheriff’s office that he was taking clothes out of a dirty hamper to get dressed each morning, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Authorities were notified and began investigating the boy’s mother, Betsy Valsquez, 34, and their home.

“They made contact with his mother, made entry into the home and it was in deplorable conditions,” sheriff’s office spokesperson Twis Lizasuain, told My News 13. “There was dirty clothing everywhere, there were seven dogs living in the home, with dog feces all over the floor, both upstairs and downstairs.”

“Initially she was uncooperative and she claimed that there was plenty of food. She had paid the bills, everything was up to date,” Lizasuain said. “It was the condition of the home and the fact that the children had said that they couldn’t remember the last time they had taken baths, the clothes were dirty and the house was just deplorable. And that is the reason why she was charged with child neglect.”

The Department of Children and Families placed the boy in custody of relatives.

“It sounds horrible, and it is horrible, when conditions rise to a level where we have to intervene,” Gray said.

Deputies found dog feces, piles of dirty clothes, and moldy dog food for the seven dogs picked up by Osceola County Animal Services. Old soda cans littered the home and the bathtub was filled with murky water.

Deputies said the boy has four brothers and sisters between the ages of 8 and 14 also now living with other family members.

Velasquez eventually admitted to deputies that the house had not been cleaned in six months.

Benjamin Fearnow

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