*Content warning: This article contains details of child abuse.*
The child told police that the women had been abusing her for several years.
Three women in Stratford, New Jersey have been accused of making a 13-year-old girl in their care wear a dog shock collar.
According to the Courier Post, Kelly, Rebecca and Rachel Mennig are facing charges of abuse after the child arrived at a neighbours door wearing the shock collar and asking for help.
Their neighbour Karen Villec shared her account with NBC Philadelphia, saying: “My doorbell’s ringing frantically and I open the door and she says, ‘Help me! Help me! Help me! They’re shocking me.'”
Ms Vilec continued: “And because I’m confused, I’m seeing the dog collar, she’s putting it in my hand. And I said, ‘Is your dog lost?’ And she goes ‘No! No! They’re shocking me!’ Shows the marks on her neck.”
The police were called and the child was taken to a hospital for treatment and examination.
The little girl has since been removed from the home by the Division of Child Protection and Permancy.
She told the Camden County Child Advocacy Centre that the women shocked her with the collar as a “form of punishment”.
She also said that they deprived her of “appropriate amounts of food and clothing”, and experienced abuse that began when she was 9-years-old.
The three women are facing charges that span from October 2018 to March 2022. The charges are aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child, child abuse and neglect. They remain in police custody and are awaiting a detention hearing this week.
They have all denied the allegations.