GALVESTON -- Two young children have been removed from their home after investigators say their parents left them alone several times.

Galveston police said they began investigating as soon as officers learned about the children were being left alone. No charges have been filed as of yet; however, police said the children have been removed from the home and are staying with foster parents.

Neighbors, a school counselor, even the mail lady told KHOU 11 News they've been concerned about the two children living in the house on Avenue R. They said the 4-year-old boy, who has special needs, and his 7-year-old sister have been left alone before.

One neighbor said a counselor came to the house on Tuesday to check on the kids because they haven t been going to school.

Their mom and stepdad would not talk to KHOU 11 News, but told police they were three hours away in east Texas, and that a babysitter was supposed to be watching the kids.

Police also removed the couple s two dogs from the home. Officials said the dogs appeared to be abused. One of them, a pit bull, had a two-pound sledge hammer and heavy chain tied around his neck.

The poor dog couldn t even walk because he was weighted down, said one neighbor.

Whether or not the children will be allowed to go back to their mom and stepdad is up to a judge. Texas Child Protective Services says a court date has been set.

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