Las Vegas Dog Rescuer Faces Felony Charges for Animal Cruelty

Posted by Stacey Venzel
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A Nevada woman faces felony charges for animal cruelty in an ongoing investigation.

Teri Askew voluntarily surrendered her 18 special needs dogs to Animal Control and various shelters last year at "the threat of arrest," she said. Police reported that the dogs were in rough shape.

Many of the dogs Askew was homing were surrendered to her due to their disabilities. She fed them all a raw diet of various meats, which were stored in two large freezers in her home.

Askew might be at fault of both not feeding the dogs enough and also not offering proper nutrition.

Authorities claim Askew "willfully and maliciously tortured or injured" the animals by "failing to provide proper sustenance and basic medical care, causing them to suffer extreme weight loss and unnecessary pain."

Askew admits she didn't have the money for proper veterinary care, but had good intentions, despite refusing offers of assistance from friends and fellow animal rescuers.

In Nevada, the legally allowed number of canines in one household without a permit is three. Askew admits that she got "overwhelmed" and went overboard, crossing the line into a hoarding situation. However, a judge will decide whether or not the felony charges uphold.

 

If Askew's negligence is deemed intentional, she will face the felony charges, but even if she had good intentions, the wording of the law, which is currently being reviewed, might not protect her from getting the charges dropped down to a misdemeanor.

Gina Greisen of Nevada Voters for Animals was pivotal in making some cases of animal abuse stand trial for felonies. However, she thinks this case is an instance that shows the law needs to be reworked.

Greisen told KTNV:

"Someone who's a rescuer who was trying to help animals and crossed the line and possibly even may be in a hoarding situation - which we're working on a bill this session to address that - I just didn't see any willful or malicious intent in that."

Askew's trial begins in January 2018.

Do you think Askew should be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor? Or should she be charged at all? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Las Vegas Dog Rescuer Faces Felony Charges for Animal Cruelty