A 7-year-old boy in South Africa was found locked along with dogs inside a home without food or water for a month.

The boy with special needs was rescued Thursday by authorities. The MEC (Member of the Executive Council) for Social Development in KwaZulu-Natal said the child was spotted standing inside the house by some people. The house had been secured with burglar guards and remained locked, News24 reported.

MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza added the boy was believed to be in the care of his father, who had locked him inside the house over a month ago.

“We have been taken aback by the conditions the child was left in. We are more surprised and shocked than anything, because we never thought a parent could do such a thing to his own child," she said, local media IOL reported. “The child has been left in such a despicable condition. No child deserves to be treated like this and there is no explanation that can be accepted from the parents of this poor child."

The MEC urged the law enforcement agencies to investigate the matter and get justice for the boy.

“There should be no negotiations with abusers. As the Department of Social Development, we are leaving no stone unturned in dealing with such cases in our society. A number of children are brought up in unsafe homes. We encourage parents to make use of government help if they find themselves unable to take care of children,” she said, IOL reported.

Authorities said the boy will undergo psycho-social counselling. He has been removed from the home and taken to a place of safety.

“We also have to ensure that both parents face justice for child abuse and neglect,” the MEC said. However, details about his parents and their whereabouts have not been revealed.

In a similar recent incident in Egypt, a 14-year-old orphan boy was tortured to death by the owners of a slaughterhouse where he was working. According to reports, the teenager's employers were upset because he asked them to pay him his daily wage of $3.8. The victim was identified as Saleh Tamer Ali. The police said Ali was beaten and burned to death at the slaughterhouse. Two people were arrested in connection to the crime.

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