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New proposals to control exotic animals also affect dog and cat owners

New proposals to control exotic animals also affect dog and cat owners

By Rikki Cheese. CREATED Oct 18, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Clark County officials are considering new rules to regulate exotic pet ownership.

Applause broke out frequently Thursday night as nearly 100 exotic animal owners and breeders pleaded their cases before Clark County's Animal Advisory Board, which is considering an ordinance with new rules and fees.

The proposed ordinance comes in the wake of the chimp escapes in July. If the new rules had been in effect then, Buddy and CJ's owners would have been forced to pay for the recovery costs.

But opponents say the proposed ordinance puts more burden on already-overworked Animal Control officers. It makes them responsible for inspecting and certifying even private homes where exotic animals are kept and it forces owners to pay permit and inspection fees that exotic pet store owner Ken Foose says, they can't afford.

Foose says "Why should I have to have a $100,000 liability policy for my six-foot snake and the lady down the street with seven pit bulls doesn't? I'm not picking on pit bulls, they're wonderful dogs, but it just seems a little bit arbitrary. Unfair, and very biased."

The proposed ordinance also takes aim at dog and cat owners. If Animal Control picks up a dog or cat, the owner could not get it back without paying spay or neuter fees and the owner would have to pay for every day the pet is in the shelter.

The good news? The proposal is a long way from becoming final. There will be several opportunities for public input before a final ordinance is sent to Clark County Commissioners for a final vote.

Keep it tuned to Action News for updates on this developing story.

Rikki Cheese

Rikki Cheese

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Rikki Cheese is currently an anchor and reporter for Action News.