LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Extremely hot temperatures in Las Vegas were the reason behind a city council hearing today about updating animal cruelty laws.
Case in point: the sad story of a North Las Vegas dog named Lily.
Lily died last year outside on a late August 115-degree day. There was no protection from the sun and her water buckets kept getting knocked over with the chain she was attached to.
This resulted in two misdemeanors but no felony charges.
"I believe those owners still don’t have no remorse for what they did and don’t think they did anything wrong," says President of Nevada Voters for Animals Gina Greisen.
Several people wrote to the Las Vegas City Council last month calling for change.
"There has been a big push from the casinos and hotels over the last few years to become ‘pet friendly' and entice visitors who want to bring their pets on vacation," wrote one commenter. "So much so that some travel publications have rated Las Vegas as the best place to bring your pet. It’s shameful to present a city that loves pets to tourists, while dogs on chains are actually baking to death in backyards across the valley."
Anyone who has lived in the valley during the summer knows the extreme heat we experience.
"We’ve actually taken the temperature in the dirt when it’s around 105 degrees. The temperature of the dirt was about 160 degrees. That’s a low setting on your oven. So literally some of these animals are baking to death in the dirt," said Greisen
The proposed city ordinance will update provisions on animal cruelty and penalties. The bill will also allow authorization to prohibit a charged person from owning an animal for a period of time.
The three main points in the ordinance that were discussed today were:
- Making it illegal to tether or restrain a dog during a national weather service issued heat risk.
- It will be against the law to keep a dog tether outside for more than 10 hours in a 24 hour period.
- Lily’s Law: temperature restrictions will be put in place on 105 degree days. Temperatures that are at or exceed this require cooling devices for animals outside.
"Most people like myself and other pet owners consider pets a part of the family. They’re inside with us. They are cooled off with us. Unfortunately, no everyone does that," says Greisen