(WCNC) A yellowing photo shows a newborn boy swaddled in a white blanket, a hospital band wrapped around his tiny wrist. A full head of hair and alert brown eyes stare out into the world. It is one of the first photos taken of Jed Maddalon. It is one of only a few photos he has from his childhood.
"He was severely neglected to the point of dehydration and starvation, almost death. He was basically left to fend for himself, physically abused," says Brooks Shelley, Jed's dad. Shelley and his partner, Billy Maddalon, formally adopted Jed in 2010.
Jed was three, when lengthy foster care files show he was found chained to a bed, near death in rural Robeson County, North Carolina.
"He was locked in a room and fed from a dish on the floor in a pretty primitive way. I don't know how else to describe it, except he was raised as a dog," Billy says.
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