Nevada: Make Animal Cruelty a Felony on the First Offense!
Your help is needed today to pass “Cooney’s Law” SB 223 and make certain acts of animal cruelty a felony on the first offense!
SB 223 is named after Cooney, a rescue dog who was brutally killed by her owner in Reno last year. The most serious charges available in that case were only a misdemeanor under current Nevada law.
Nevada is the only state in the country where someone can torture an animal to death on three separate occasions before facing a felony animal cruelty charge.
SB 223 will change this deplorable fact and make certain that prosecutors have the ability to appropriately charge those who commit the most heinous acts of cruelty against animals the first time they do it. By authorizing such a first-offense felony, Nevada will help to ensure that the penalty actually fits the crime.
SB 223 is timely, reasonable and necessary.
Forty-two other states already have first-offense felonies for the worst types of animal cruelty, and recent cases, like Cooney’s, have clearly demonstrated the serious deficiencies of Nevada’s current law.
Furthermore, while animals themselves are clearly deserving of humane treatment and appropriate protections of the law, multiple studies point to another important reason to take crimes against animals seriously – those who commit animal cruelty are often the same ones who act violently against spouses, children and other vulnerable members of our communities.
By appropriately sanctioning those who commit these abhorrent crimes against animals, Nevada will not only help those in our communities with four legs, but also benefit those with two. The sooner we can intervene with these offenders, and with their propensities for future violence, the safer we can make Nevada for everyone, animals and people alike.
However, time is running out for SB 223. It must make it out of committee by April 15.
Nevada residents: your help is critical for the passage of this important bill. Please send a letter to your state legislators through ALDF's website today and ask for their support of SB 223!