Des Moines Mother Behind Bars, Facing Child Endangerment and Neglect Charges

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  A Des Moines woman is behind bars and being charged with three counts of child endangerment and animal neglect.

Police say 25-year-old Destinee Miller left her three children--ages 4, 2, and 1--home alone on Monday. Neighbors contacted law enforcement, and police reports show officers found one of the children naked and covered in feces.

A Channel 13 crew knocked on the door of Miller's home, but received no answer. However, her next-door neighbor commented on his experiences with the family.

“We have had their kids show up in our yard, one of them without clothes. My girlfriend took her back home and apparently the parents were not home," Mickey Hammond said.

This incident took place last month, but when police arrived on Monday, they found hundreds of mounds of feces left from Miller's seven dogs. Hammond said these dogs are not cared for, either.

“They aren't bad dogs, they just weren't caged up or ever on leashes. I know the neighbors have all had issues with them,” Hammond said. “In the last month, cops have been there a couple times.”

Police say Miller left her kids alone to take one of the dogs to the vet, but officials do not believe that is an adequate reason.

“Absolutely not a good enough excuse for leaving your children unattended, I mean there's really no excuse. And as much as we say everyone has the right to be a parent, you definitely don't have the right to be a dangerous parent," said Seargent Paul Parizek.

Miller’s children are now safe and out of danger, and all the dogs are being cared for by the Animal Rescue League.

Police are still investigating whether drugs or alcohol were involved in this incident. A protective order is also in place that will keep Miller from making contact with any of her children. She remains in the Polk County Jail on a $12,000 bond.