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CONTACT 13: Dog rescuer loses bid to keep dogs, must stand trial for cruelty

Posted at 6:00 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 22:19:46-05

At the crossroads of two cases, a dog rescuer facing felony charges learned Tuesday that she won't get her dogs back, and she will have to stand trial.

Teri Askew was hoping the animal cruelty charges against her would be dropped. But that's not happening. 

Her criminal case is moving forward fast and so is the fate of the remaining dogs.

For the first time since they were seized, Contact 13 can show you some of the dogs taken from Teri Askew's house last October.

Six out of 18 dogs are at the Animal Foundation, where they've been for three months. And as of Tuesday, they're free to be adopted or transferred to rescues. 

The 18 dogs Askew had in her home put her six times above the legal limit of allowed animals in a home in Clark County. 

Askew, a self-proclaimed rescuer of special needs dogs, was recently charged with six felonies for failing to provide proper food and basic medical care to the animals. 

We spoke to her earlier this month about the charges.

"It's insane! It's insanity. And anyone who looks at the documents that I have can plainly see it's wrong," Askew said.

A judge didn't see it that way Tuesday morning, sending Askew's case to trial. 

She says the only thing she did wrong was have too many dogs. But she also admits mismanaging the raw meat diet she was feeding them. 

And she's been fighting to get some of them back.

"I committed my life to these dogs. Walking away from them and leaving them behind... I can't."

Now, she'll have to. Though most of the dogs have already been adopted out, Askew was allowed to keep six on hold through a lawsuit she filed against Animal Control and the Animal Foundation. 

But this week, that case was dismissed.

Some animal advocates believe authorities overstepped their bounds in this case, saying Askew never intentionally harmed any of her dogs, and that there was no cruelty. 

Police and Animal Control say she caused some of the dogs to suffer extreme weight loss and unnecessary pain. 

The case goes to District Court on Feb. 2, when it will be set for trial.