Siberian Girl Literally Raised By Cats and Dogs

Filed under: In The News, Weird But True

Siberia, where a 5-year-old girl that could only speak in

A 5-year-old girl in Siberia was being raised by cats and dogs, according to police. Image:

Next time you tell your kids that they're acting like they were raised by wolves, you may want to reconsider that statement.

A 5-year-old Russian girl was found in "a squalid flat in the Siberian city of Chita," according to the BBC. And while "squalid flat" might describe the first few apartments I lived in after college, they were still way better than what this poor little girl was subjected to.

According to police reports, the girl had never been outside and had been "'brought up' by several dogs and cats." She behaves like those animals, barking "like a little dog" and "[jumping] at the door" when people leave the room.

She communicates using what police are calling "animal language only," although she did seem able to understand Russian.

You know all of those nature vs. nurture debates we love to have? Clearly environment matters.

So where are the parents? Police have no idea where the father is, but they are questioning the mother.

Not to make light of a terrible situation -- but what exactly will they ask? "Why is your daughter barking at us?" I think it's safe to say that if the mother had any idea of what was going on, she's several steps below Dina Lohan on the "Mom of the Year" list.

We've had our share of bad parenting stories in the United States recently -- the woman whose son weighs 555 pounds, or Jon and Kate Gosselin. But this is a whole new level of awful.

Hopefully the little girl will be OK. What a horrible story.

Brett Singer is the editor-in-chief of You can follow his tweets at

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.