A Union County Sheriff's deputy found the 11-year-old handcuffed to the front porch of a neighboring home while he was responding to an animal services complaint, WBTV, Charlotte, N.C., reported.
The boy also had a dead chicken hanging around his neck, the deputy said.
A man identified as 57-year-old Dorian Lee Harper later came to the porch and asked the deputy what he was doing there. The deputy asked Harper for identification and why the boy was handcuffed to the porch.
When Harper was giving the deputy his identification, another child inside the house opened the door, releasing several large dogs that forced the deputy back to his car. When the deputy was securing the dogs, Harper apparently removed the boy from the porch and removed the chicken from around his neck.
Additional deputies arrived, conducted a search of Harper's home and removed five children from the home, all between the ages of eight and 14.
Deputies said they opened a criminal case against Harper because of the living conditions in his home. Harper was arrested at the scene.
Wanda Sue Larson, 57, a Union County Department of Social Services worker who lived at the home, was also arrested.
Larson and Harper were both charged with intentional child abuse inflicting serious injury, false imprisonment, and cruelty to animals based on the condition of some of the family pets.
Larson was also charged with willful failure to discharge her duty as a public official.
Harper is being held under a $500,000 secured bond, while Larson's bond is set at $525,000. They are both scheduled to appear in court on Monday.