Animal Cruelty Prevention Laws
According to information made available by the Humane Society, most animal cruelty cases go unreported. Nevertheless, based on available data, some facts about animal cruelty are available:
- where animal abuse is reported, the victims are most often dogs, cats, horses and livestock
- although animal cruelty and neglect are not specifically correlated with any particular social or economic group or geographic area, it is often associated with other crimes
- hoarding behavior is often correlated with animal cruelty
- animal abusers are most often men under 30, while hoarders ten to be women over age 60
Animal cruelty laws exist at both the federal and state levels to combat animal cruelty throughout the United States. The Humane Society also reports that since 2014, fifty states have enacted animal cruelty laws. Nevada is one state that has enacted laws aimed at preventing cruelty to animals.
Federal Animal Cruelty Laws
In November, President Trump signed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act. This Act bans various types of abusive behavior towards animals, including crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling, on otherwise subjecting animals to serious bodily injury. Penalties for violation of this act include the payment of penalties, imprisonment for a term of up to 7 years, or both.
Animal Cruelty Laws in Nevada
The Nevada animal cruelty laws define “animal” as any living creature, other than a member of the human race. Many types of conduct are prohibited. Generally, the Nevada animal protection laws are aimed at prohibiting specific types of cruelty and making sure that animals’ basic needs are taken care of – that they are provided with adequate food, water and shelter.
Some of the laws that prevent specific types of animal cruelty in Nevada include:
- laws that make it a crime to instigate or attend animal fighting, such as dogfighting or cockfighting
- laws that prevent torturing, unjustifiably maiming, mutilating, killing or abandoning an animal
- laws that prohibit abandoning a disabled animal
- laws that prohibit poisoning or attempting to poison an animal
One of the laws that requires that animals’ basic food, water and shelter requirements be met is NRS 574.120. Under this law, a person who has impounded or confined an animal, such as a pet, may not refuse or neglect to provide the animal with air, food, shelter or water. Violating this law may be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on whether the conduct is a first, second, or third or subsequent offense:
- For a first or second offense (within a seven-year period), the conduct is classified as a misdemeanor. The penalties for a first offense are from two days up to six months in jail, 48 to 120 hours of community service, and from $200 up to $1000 in fines.
- For a second offense within a seven-year period, the penalties increase. Repeat offenders will be sentenced from ten days to six months in jail, 100 to 200 hours of community service, and from $500 to $1000 in fines.
- Third and subsequent offenses are classified as felonies. The penalties for third and subsequent offenses include one to up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
For more information and additional details about the federal and state laws aimed at preventing and combatting animal cruelty, or if you have questions about these laws, contact Lobo Law at 702 290 8998 to speak with an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer.