A Wind Lake couple is facing child abuse charges after they kept a 9-year-old child in a dog kennel.

Gale Lalonde
Dale Deavers

Gale D. Lalonde, 46, and Dale Deavers, 48, are facing felony charges by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office of causing mental harm to a child, false imprisonment, and other felony charges, according to a press release by the Racine County Sheriff’s Department.

Law enforcement officials with the Racine County Sheriff’s Department were called to an elementary school in Wind Lake for a report of child abuse at 11:51 a.m. on Wednesday. They learned that the child was held at night and sometimes through the day in a dog kennel at a residence in the Town of Norway. The couple kept the child locked in the kennel with a padlock to keep the child from escaping.

The kennel was 4-feet 10-inches high, 4-feet tall and 8-feet wide.

The child and another sibling were taken from the home and placed into protective custody by Racine County Human Services.

“I was sickened at what I witnessed last night. This by far, is one of the most disturbing and heart-wrenching cases of child abuse I’ve seen, it doesn’t get much worse than this,” said Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.