Nevada lawmakers to consider bill to create animal abuser registry

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 7:57 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Nevada lawmakers are set to consider a new bill that would essentially put convicted animal abusers on a registry that would ban them from owning or living with animals.

Assembly bill 350 will be introduced to the board of directors.

This bill, originally introduced in 2021, would revise provisions relating to crimes against animals.

One of the changes to this bill would increase the penalty for abusing a dog, cat, or any animal from a category D felony to a category C, this marks the crime much more serious.

Along with fines and penalties, the abuser would be a part of an abuser registry.

Gina Greisen, president for the Nevada Voters 4 Animals, said if this goes through it would be a step forward.

“When you’re looking at actually documenting the crimes people are committing for the rescues it truly is it allows people to know so that we don’t adopt rescues don’t adopt to people like that who have felony crimes,” said Greisen.

In 2011, Greisen authored Cooney’s Law, a bill signed into law that states animal cruelty cases can be prosecuted as a felony on the first offense.The law is named after a dog who was injured and ultimately died.

In the state of Nevada, a first-time offense is typically a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail, up to 120 hours of community service, and up to $1,000 in fines, plus restitution.

Greisen says more needs to be done to those who are abusing animals, not only for the sole purpose of the safety of animals but also for what she describes as a “gateway” to more severe crimes.

“What we need to do is hold people like that accountable, because we know there is a gateway behavior that leads to violent crimes we hold people like this accountable where they’re hurting people,” said Greisen.

Greisen says for people who are passionate about animal welfare, you should get involved.

“None of this happens without the support the bills that pass are the ones that get a lot of attention that get support from your elected official, you can share your opinions on the bills,” said Greisen.