Animal abuse becomes a felony in Nevada

Animal abuse becomes a felony in Nevada

By Makayla Zurn. CREATED Sep 29, 2011

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - A new Nevada law goes into effect this Saturday. Cruelty to animals now carries a felony charge. Animal abusers will now be treated like criminals who commit robberies, assaults and drive under the influence.

In June, Gov. Sandoval signed Senate Bill 223, also known as Cooney's Law.

The bill was named after a northern Nevada shelter dog who was brutally tortured with a box cutter and killed by his owner- A crime that only came with a misdemeanor charge.

On October 1, this kind of senseless violence won't be taken lightly. Cruelty to animals will be a felony in the State of Nevada.

Local organization, Noah's Animal House, associated with Shade Tree, championed the bill. They say animal abuse and domestic violence go hand in hand.

"A lot of times we do have animals that have come into our program that have been intentionally harmed by an abuser to get back at the victim," said Crystal McIntosh, Manager of Noah's Animal House. "And they do sometimes come in with severe medical problems and injuries that need to be addressed."

Noah's Animal House takes in pets that need rescuing from abusive households. The organization says this bill is something they've all been waiting for.

"I see people who ask me, what do I do, how do I seek justice for my pet? And now they can," said McIntosh.

A felony charge for animal abuse will come with a one-to-five year prison sentence and a fine of up to $10,000.