The Nevada Senate will be considering several bills this week impacting dog owners. Those who reside or participate in dog events in Nevada are strongly encouraged to contact the committee regarding these bills.
Senate Bill 371- Hearing in Senate Natural Resources Committee TOMORROW (Tuesday, April 4):
Senate Bill 371 would make it more difficult for someone accused of animal cruelty to retain their ownership rights. Under current law, any peace officer or officer of a society to prevent animal cruelty authorized to make arrests must take possession of an animal if it is “discovered…. [it] is being treated cruelly.” The officer must provide a written statement to the owner containing the reasons the animal has been taken, the location where the animal is being held and cared for, and a notification that there is a limited lien on the animal for a period of two weeks to cover the cost of care. The owner must pay this lien before the animal may be released back into the owner’s custody.
This bill would remove the time limit on the lien to make the cost of care extend indefinitely. It also empowers counties to impound animals in cases where a person is arrested and detained for more than 15 days. The county would be permitted to recover the “reasonable cost of any care and shelter….without limitation” or give the animal to a member of the person’s immediate family. The county may also allow “another person” to adopt the animal if it is reasonable to believe the owner or their family cannot provide adequate shelter and care. It does not appear this other person must have any connection at all to the owner or family.
The AKC strongly believes no animal should be kept in an environment where basic needs are not met, but has significant concerns with Senate Bill 371 as introduced. This bill takes an already problematic law and adds additional provisions that will make it even more difficult for someone accused of any crime to maintain possession of their animals, even if they are later found not guilty.
What You Can Do: To express concerns with Senate Bill 371, visit the Nevada State Legislature’s “Share Your Opinion” page and complete the online form. You may also contact the Senate Natural Resources Committee directly at: SenNR@sen.state.nv.us.
Multiple bills in Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday, April 7:
Senate Bill 409 would make numerous amendments to current laws regarding keeping animals unattended in motor vehicles. Under this bill no animal may be left unattended in a vehicle with the engine running. There are no exceptions to this provision, except for certain situations with a police animal or a first responder during an emergency. The only other exception is someone who unintentionally locks their car. This bill also removes the current exception to keeping a dog humanely in a vehicle if they are participating in a field trial.
This would appear to include anyone participating in dog shows in the state and prohibit them from leaving animals in any vehicle if the temperature may pose a risk to the dog’s health – even if the engine is running and proper precautions such as air conditioning are in place. Those who violate this provision would be guilty of a misdemeanor
The committee will also be considering Senate Bill 405, which would establish an animal abuse registry for anyone convicted of a felony or misdemeanor regarding the care of animals and prohibit them from owning animals for 10 years for a felony conviction or 5 years for a misdemeanor conviction. Anyone who sells animals (including breeders and retailers) must first check the registry to confirm the customer is not on the registry.
As this includes misdemeanor provisions, it could significantly impact those who those who leave their animals in the car with the vehicle running, should Senate Bill 409 mentioned above be enacted.
What You Can Do: Contact the Senate Judiciary Committee and express any comments or concerns you have with Senate Bill 409 and 405. Visit the Nevada State Legislature’s “Share Your Opinion” page and complete the online form. You may also contact the Senate Judiciary Committee directly at: SenJUD@sen.state.nv.us.
AKC Government Relations will continue to closely monitor these bills and provide more information as it becomes available. For more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.