Should Animal Abusers Be Allowed to Have Children?


puppyAfter horrifically abusing several dogs, a 19-year-old New Zealand woman escaped jail time. Instead of serving the hard time she deserved for what one veterinarian said was "the worst case of animal neglect she had seen in her 19 years in the job," Sheryl Santos Teriaki got just two months of home detention and 100 hours of community service.

The most awful part of it all, however, is why she got the relaxed sentence -- she's pregnant!

"That fact alone has saved you by the narrowest margin from a sentence of imprisonment," the judge told her.

The abuse was found last summer when authorities were called to her home and found several dogs "in such poor condition that some were barely able to move." One she had buried already, and in total nine dogs were taken in for urgent care by a veterinarian -- two eventually had to be put to sleep.

Just reading about it sparks tears of outrage and anger and heartbreak for these poor defenseless animals, and even more so, for the baby she's bringing into the world -- especially because the paper said Teriaki, currently six months pregnant, has shown "little remorse." She said she'd gone somewhere and someone else was supposed to be caring for them, but they were her dogs. Also, authorities believe the abuse happened over four months.

"The facts make for somewhat disturbing reading," the judge said. "There is a photo attached to the summary of facts [that] I wouldn't wish on anybody."

She is banned from owning a dog for 10 years, which should probably be for life, but how can someone that cold, that irresponsible, that .... awful, be allowed to mother a human being? If someone treats an animal like that, the chances of them treating a human with love and respect are likely low.

I desperately hope there's more to this story that's not being reported -- that child services has been alerted, that she'll be under surveillance, that someone is going to be watching out for this baby and be ready to protect him or her from suffering like these dogs did.

Do you think people who abuse animals should be allowed to raise children?

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Bree1984 Bree1984

Most people shouldn't be allowed to raise children but unfortunately it's "inhumane" to put a cap on it.

Danielle Garceau

"Most people" that's a little harsh don't you think?... I think it's so sick when people neglect and abuse their animals. My dog is one of the kids and I feel bad just putting him in his crate if I leave the house. I think she should be locked up and not fed for 4 months, that would make me happy. Well after she has that baby of course and it's taken away from her.


There is so much to be said about animal abuse and how it affects your personality and behaviors. I'm not sure you could outlaw it but if I were in her family, I'd be watching and keeping my eyes on any children born to such a person.



Pbutt... Pbuttercup0625

No Danielle, Bree had it right, MOST people should not be allowed to have children.

Bree1984 Bree1984

Thank you Pbuttercup0625. I stand by my statement.

nonmember avatar Jen

She doesn't need to have a child. Animals are a hell of a lot less to take care of than baby humans. She'll be back in a court room.

jalaz77 jalaz77


Bridget Elia

This is from a very cranky senior who lives in seattle.I want to know who is this person? I think that people who want to have children should think.It is not a cute thing to do.Children are a big expense.And in Seattle,child abuse is on the rise.I love my cat and she is all I have as I am a widow.She jumps on me when I come home and is glad to see me.She lets me know who comes to the door as I am hard of hearing.She is a wonderful pet and i refuse to give her up no matter how hard it gets.In fact,I would take her over any one of my friends and that includes any new guy.I dont like animal cruelty .But if you dont like animals,I dont bother with you and you are not allowed in my house.

nonmember avatar kse123

There is considerable scientific data that clearly shows people who harm animals have distinct, dangerous pathologies that lead them to harm people...This individual should at least be closely monitored. She already has a track record as someone who harms living beings wholly reliant on her for survival. It's a REALLY big red flag.

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