Chimpanzee escape prompts new rules on exotic pet ownership
The Clark County Commission is laying down the law on people who own exotic pets. Authorities say this is all about protecting the community from exotic animals that can sometimes be dangerous, but owners of these unique creatures say the county is m Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The Clark County Commission is laying down the law on people who own exotic pets. Authorities say this is all about protecting the community from exotic animals that can sometimes be dangerous but owners of these unique creatures say the county is making a rash decision.
Three weeks after two chimpanzees escaped their caged enclosure from a northwest Las Vegas property, Clark County Commissioners met Tuesday morning to discuss what could be done to better protect the community from exotic animals.
"I think statutorily we couldn't do an outright ban, but we should do safeguards for now and then be prepared for something, which I would support from the legislature," says Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani.
But some showed up at the meeting arguing that exotic animal owners are often more responsible than dog or cat owners.
"I think we're actually fine where we have been. If the county would just obey their own laws this wouldn't have happened in the first place," says Ken Foose, owner of Exotic Pets store.
Getting a review of the current regulations, commissioners decided to make some changes in the process of owning and keeping exotic animals in Clark County.
The changes include:
-- the county commissioners want to approve special use permits for keeping exotic animals instead of the county planning commission
-- applicants must provide a good reason to have an exotic animal and have the skills and knowledge to keep it
-- the owner of the animal must also own the property where it is kept
-- animals must be provided shade along with adequate enclosure and cages
"What they should do is sit back, take a deep breath. Have a committee, get a meeting together, and discuss all the options instead of just forcing something through," says Foose.
The county wants to renew the special use permits and properly inspect them annually. Some commissioners say that could be difficult since animal control already has a tough time making the calls they get now.
The specific details of this proposed ordinance will come back for a vote possibly as soon as Wednesday, Sept. 5.