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CONTACT 13: Nevada bill would address animal hoarding problem

Posted at 6:00 PM, Apr 06, 2017

Filthy houses. Inhumane conditions. Suffering animals. That's what happens when people keep more pets than they can handle. 

Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears has been reporting on animal hoarders for years. Her stories and a push from animal welfare advocates prompted state leaders to take action.   

Hoarders are almost always repeat offenders. They can be hostile toward authorities and those trying to help. 

That's why Nevada lawmakers are introducing a new bill. Its aim is to give judges more leverage to handle hoarding cases by focusing on the root cause.  

Nathalie Beck was accused of keeping more than 120 cats in the summer of 2014 in a North Las Vegas home. Beck was evicted, but that didn't stop her from taking in too many cats again in Las Vegas and Clark County.

Julie Frohlich was charged with animal cruelty. Authorities say she was trying to handle 20 cats while homeless at a Henderson park. Frohlich threatened animal control officers. And that wasn't her first offense.  

Senate Bill 177 recognizes hoarding as a disorder and would allow judges to send offenders for mental health treatment. Advocates hope that could cut down on repeat offenses, unify agencies dealing with hoarders and prevent someone with a hoarding disorder from simply moving to another jurisdiction to do it all over again.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will discuss the proposed new law Friday afternoon.