Nevada’s Governor signed two bills into law last week to protect animals. Cooney’s Law makes it a felony to unjustifiably mutilate, torture, maim, starve or kill an animal and a long overdue Puppy Mill Law establishes rules for commercial breeders.
When Governor Brian Sandoval, an animal lover with four dogs, two cats, two frogs and a turtle signed Cooney’s Law he brought the state into compliance with 44 other states that make extreme cruelty to animals a felony crime.
Cooney was a 3-year-old rescued Pit bull mix who was brutally killed when her owner cut open her stomach with a box-cutter. Raymond Rios was a transient living in a motel in Reno, NV. He thought a mouse had crawled into the dog’s stomach, so he placed her into the bathtub and mutilated her in an attempt to release the rodent. Cooney died from her injuries.
The law in effect at the time only allowed Rios to be charged with a misdemeanor crime.
Cooney’s Law, which was sponsored by Sen. Shirley Breeden, D-Henderson would now make a crime like this a felony that is punishable by at least one year in prison.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported the law applies to “cats, dogs or any animal kept by a person for companionship or pleasure.”
The Puppy Mill Law requires animal breeders to be licensed and allows animal control officers to inspect the facility at “any reasonable hour.”
It also requires commercial breeders to:
- Breed female dogs that are at least 18 months-old.
- Only breed female dogs once a year.
- Eliminate wire flooring in crates and stop the stacking of cages.
- Provide adequate shelter, food and water for animals.
- Provide cages with enough space for dogs to sit, stand, turn around and lie down.
- Microchip animals and vaccinate against rabies.
The Review-Journal reported, “More than half of the Republicans in the Legislature voted against the two animal bills.”
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