CASTLEWOOD, Va. (WJHL)– Desiree and Ethan Taylor moved to Castlewood less than six months ago. Their home has the clearest view of the property on Gravel Lick Road where Rebecca Bremner was arrested on charges of child neglect and abuse.
“We didn’t really start noticing anything until the dogs started coming up to the house,” Desiree told News Channel 11. “It was one dog, and then you would see two or three dogs. And then it would be five and six dogs.”
The Russell County Sheriff’s Office reported in “excess of 40 dogs” remained on the property after Bremner was arrested on Jan. 19.
Most neighbors were surprised to hear that a child had lived on the property.
“When we found out there was a kid down there, we were in total shock,” Desiree Taylor said.
“We were shocked and upset, even with ourselves. We kind of went back and forth because we were driving by all the time. And we just didn’t know,” she said.
One neighbor, Harold Eugene Osborne, said he’d seen a child at the home. Osborne told News Channel 11 he began visiting the property last summer to mow the yard and take out the trash for Michael Park, who is also charged with neglect and abuse.
“One day, he was coming out of the building, and he was limping,” Osborne said, of spotting the child with a leg injury.
Court documents say a Russell County Sheriff’s Office investigator was first alerted about the child’s condition when he was taken to the hospital with black feet due to frostbite.
The child’s leg was eventually amputated below the knee, court documents state.
Osborne noticed the dogs too; he estimates there were 75 dogs at his neighbor’s house at one time.
“They bit me at least once,” Osborne said. Osborne and his wife have taken in a poodle mix puppy from the property.
Bremner is being held without bond in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon. Park was arrested in North Carolina and is awaiting extradition.
Harold Osborne said he didn’t have much contact with Bremner, but he said Park could be harsh and demanding.
“I mean, he was hateful,” Osborne said of Park’s behavior.