Animal Abuse and Animal Cruelty Laws in Nevada
Animal abuse and cruelty is not only a criminal act but a crime against morality.
We hear a lot of stories on the news of animal cruelty.
And one recently I saw on the news in Nevada where someone left a dog with it’s mouth duct taped in a hot hot car with the windows closed in 100 degree plus heat in Las Vegas.
Now this person was arrested and charged with a felony based on Nevada law.
But most people don’t just see the criminal side of it, they see the moral issue as well.
Being accused of any kind of animal cruelty can carry a lifelong stigma especially if you’re not guilty of the crime.
People see domesticated animals such as dogs and cats as part of their families, so when animals are hurt or killed by humans we see those humans as criminals who would hurt their family members.
But what if you didn’t hurt an animal and were accused of it, what do you do?
If you have been accused of animal cruelty you need to contact a defense attorney immediately.
Depending on the circumstances you can be charged with a felony in Nevada for certain crimes against animals and that can include fines, prison time, probation, community service and restitution if convicted.
Crimes Against Animals in Nevada
There are many laws that protect animals from being harmed or killed by humans.
In Nevada there are many laws that are directly related to animal cruelty and abuse:
Overdriving, torturing, injuring or abandoning animals
- It is against the law in Nevada to neglect, torture or endanger animals.
- Nevada also regulates the enclosures and restraints for animals.
- Includes cruelty, torture, beating, mutilate or kill an animal that is kept for companionship.
- Abuse also includes depriving an animal of food or drink.
- Abandoning an animal in another form of abuse.
- It is also considered animal abuse if a person allows an animal to be abused.
- It is not necessary for the the person to physically inflict the torture to be prosecuted for animal abuse in Nevada.
Dog restraints and enclosures
- It is a crime in Nevada to leave your pet outside for more than 10 hours in a 24 hour period, or for any time when a heat advisory has been issued.
- If the heat is 105 degress or higher you must provide your pet with a cooling system like air conditioning, fans or misters.
- It is against the law to use a choke collar or similar to restrain the animal. Is it also a crime to use a chain or tie system that is less than 12 feet, or doesn’t allow the animal to move in a 12 foot radius.
- If the chain or tie system can entangle the animal where it will be injured or die the system is considered illegal.
- Any outdoor enclosure or pen must be appropriate for the animal’s size and breed. Animals must not be restrained in the future in a pen or enclosure.
Beastiality, dog racing for profit-
- These are also considered abusive crimes against animals. Bestiality occurs when someone intentionally uses animals in sex acts or photographs the sex acts.
- Dog racing is not animal cruelty in Nevada except for when it is considered abusive.
- It is illegal to run a dog racing ring for financial gain.
The penalties for animal abuse and cruelty depend completely on wether or not the defenadant committed the animal abuse to terrorize another person.
If this is the case then it is a felony of up to 1-5 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
An example of this is if a couple breaks up and the one person kills the other person’s dog to get back at the other.
Also if the defendant willfully committed this crime it is a class D felony with up to 1-4 years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.
For example, you killed your neighbor’s dog because the dog barked all the time.
You intended to do it.
All other acts of cruelty charges in Nevada are misdemeanors if you have no convictions in the previous 7 years.
Each charge will result in a longer sentence with a larger fine.
However the first offense of animal cruelty is punishable by 2days to 6 months in jail, 48 to 120 hours of community service, $200-$1000 fine and restitution for injuries of the animal.
People convicted of animal abuse may be prohibited from having animals for up to 5 years.
Some Other Crimes Against Animals
- Poisoning animals- Unjustifiably giving a noxious drug to a horse, mule or domestic cattle. Exposing any animal to noxious drugs with the intent to be taken by the animal. The animal being poisoned has a lot to do with the penalties. The defendant doesn’t have to be the person who actually poisons the animal.
- Animal fights- Including dog and cock fighting-It is against the law to run an animal fight, to keep, train or sell a fighting animal and to attend an animal fight. All penalties involved with animal fighting except being a spectator are felonies and punishable by prison time and severe fines. Watching an animal fight is a gross misdemeanor. It is also illegal to own or operate a venue that is used for animal fights to generate a profit.
- Mistreatment of police animals- Taunting or tormenting a trained police animal or interfering with a police animal or handler while they are performing police duties is a felony.
- Mistreatment of show dogs- It is illegal to maliciously tamper with a show dog, or willfully abuse, injure or kill a show dog.
- Abandoning a disabled animal- It is illegal for the owner of a disabled animal to abandon the animal by leaving it in a public place or to leave it in a public area for more than 3 hours.
- Selling a diseased animal – It is a crime to sell any animal infected with certain contagious diseases that may affect humans or other animals. It is also a misdemeanor to refuse to kill an animal infected with a contagious disease.
These are just a few of the laws against animal cruelty in Nevada.
If you have been charged with any of these offenses there is help for you.
Types of Defenses Against an Animal Cruelty Charge in Nevada
An experienced defense team will investigate the charges against you and based on evidence may even be able to get the charges against you dismissed.
Some common defenses against animal cruelty charges are:
- Self Defense- If the animal or owner of the animal was attacking the defendant and the defendant was attacked by the animal while also being attacked by the owner and the defendant hurt or killed the animal in self defense, the charges should be dismissed.
- Lacked criminal intent- If you for example hit an animal with your car after they darted out in the street and you could not stop you lack criminal intent, you had no intention of hurting the animal but it happened because the animal ran into the road and you couldn’t stop.
- Illegal search and seizure- If the police came to your home or business and there was no other crime taking place and they searched your business or residence without a warrant they are guilty of illegal search and seizure and all charges should be dropped.
- False identification- Maybe witness identified you as the perosn who committed animal cruelty. And it wasn’t you?
These are a few of the defenses used by experienced attorneys like The Defenders when a person is charged with animal cruelty.
What The Defenders Can Do For You:
- Investigate your case to determine all facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged crime
- Determine whether there was police error or misconduct, or you are being falsely accused
- Go over the strengths and weaknesses of your case with you to give you an idea of how your case will stand up in court
- Inform you of all the legal options available to you
- Offer guidance, support and sound legal advice
Prosecutors have a vast amount of resources available to them to find the necessary evidence to convict you.
The Defenders are well versed in the prosecution’s tactics and can help you counter them aggressively.
We have a number of creative options available to us that can convince the court to dismiss or reduce the charges against you, and we will use every resource we have to vigorously fight for your rights.