Titus to call for expanded animal care laws - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Titus to call for expanded animal care laws

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Gloria Lee appeared shackled and in jail-issued clothing during her appearance in court on Feb. 11, 2014. (Shannon Moore/FOX5) Gloria Lee appeared shackled and in jail-issued clothing during her appearance in court on Feb. 11, 2014. (Shannon Moore/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

A recent fire at Prince and Princess Puppies and Boutique has put a spotlight back on laws aimed at protecting animals.

Gloria Lee, who owns the pet shop, and Kirk Bills are accused of setting that fire. Police say they have surveillance video that captured the two in action.

Lee is expected in court next week. Bills is being extradited to Las Vegas from Indiana to face arson and animal cruelty charges.

There were 27 puppies in the store when it was set ablaze. Each one was rescued.

Nevada Rep. Dina Titus on Wednesday announced she will introduce a new set of bills in order to prevent animal cruelty and better equip pet stores to deal with disaster. 

"I think it's well overdue. We should have done this many years ago," said Stacia Newman with Nevada Political Action for Animals.

"I think the outrage over the situation that occurred is very telling that it's time. The public doesn't want to see things like this happen," Gina Greisen with Nevada Voters for Animals added.

Titus wants pet shops protected under the Animal Welfare Act. Currently, federal law only permits the USDA to inspect and regulate puppy mills.

Titus would also like for it to be a requirement that every pet shop adopts an emergency disaster plan in the case of a fire and for the FBI to track animal abusers with a national registry.

"Well personally, I was horrified that somebody could set fire to living puppies or animals or anything like that," Titus said.

Greisen said the registry is crucial. Lee had been charged in 2008 for depriving animals of medical care and for failing to vaccinate them. The case was eventually dismissed.

"A pet store owner that maybe had prior charges in another state could come here. There's no accountability for that," Greisen said.

Titus said a pet store disaster plan could include evacuation procedures and steps to ensure the proper care of animals following a fire.

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