An Austin woman remains behind bars after authorities say she left her two children at home alone for days. But they say she did take the family dog to a pet hotel.
Child protective services say the 8 and 10 year old girls are now in Illinois with one of the fathers after a court hearing this morning.
Kristine Noffsinger, 29, could face six months to two years in a state jail, if she's convicted of abandoning or endangering a child.
Authorities say the mother of two left town April 17, leaving her 8 and 10-year-old girls alone a North Austin apartment.
CPS says Noffsinger went to St. Louis for three days, and the children were left to feed and bathe themselves, as well as get to and from school. But CPS says she made arrangements for the family dog to stay at a Petsmart pet hotel.
The mother of a 7-month-old named Aubrey is outraged.
"I can't even imagine leaving her home by herself at 8 and 10 and definitely not a few days at a time," Brittany Sadlier said.
Even non-parents say this is unacceptable. Roommates, Phoebe Mannie and Victoria Moore, say they wouldn't leave their dogs alone for more than four hours.
"I think that's terrible for a mother to leave her kids at any point, to go to a whole other state without making sure they have the proper care , that's ludicrous," Mannie said.
"That's absolutely mortifying, I'm not a mother myself but I can only imagine if I did have children, just horrible," Moore said.
Those who know the family are surprised.
"I probably talk to her kids more than her but I talk to her kids all the time in the parking lot, they always call me the trainer so yeah, totally shocked," Mark Jackson said.
But thanks to a confidential tip, CPS investigators were notified. They went to the apartment the same day and took emergency custody of the girls.
"We have guidelines as far as what is neglectful supervision and that is placing a child in a situation where they're not mature enough to handle and leaving children home alone for several days, having them get themselves to school, make themselves breakfast, lunch, dinner , those types of things would be considered neglectful supervision," said Julie Moody, a CPS spokesperson.
While Noffsinger was charged in this case, you may be surprised to learn that it isn't illegal to leave your children home alone.
Moody says that's why common sense is important.
"There's a difference between I'm going to run to the store for 30 minutes and pick up a few things and be back versus I'm going to go to dinner, to a movie, I'm going to go out dancing , I'll see you in about 10 hours," Moody said.
Moody stresses that it's each family's decision on whether to leave their children home alone but preschool children should never be left alone. Investigators learned of this case through a tip on the CPS abuse and neglect hotline, which is 1800-252-5400.