Nevada Senate OKs expense to provide prisoners choice on animal care

Friday, April 21, 2017|2 a.m.

CARSON CITY– Corrections officials would have to ask Nevada jail and prison inmates what they want to happen to their family pets while they’re jailed under an expense state senators passed Thursday.

After one week of detainment, the proposal would give prisoners the chance to authorize another individual to take care of their family pets and require government employees to transfer the animals if they decide the alternate home provides adequate care and shelter.

Otherwise, officers would put prisoners’ animals in animal shelters.

“If they do not have someone who is willing to take and care for the animal, a family member, then they can be provided for adoption,” state Sen. Pete Goicoechea said of his proposal.

Government firms would charge people they jail for pets’ space and board costs if the owners are later on founded guilty.

The procedure might spare pets from being euthanized or distributed.

Goicoechea, a Republican politician from Eureka, said he’s aiming to relieve the concern on county governments that should pay to look after those animals, and guard municipalities from suits if the animals are put down or adopted.

The bill would apply to inmates’ pets, felines, horses and other domesticated animals such as canaries. It excludes animals.

It is uncertain who would be responsible for getting family pets of individuals jailed and detained outside the county where they live.

“I have no idea how that would work,” Goicoechea stated. “There truly isn’t really a mechanism in the law that addresses exactly what would take place if you were detained in another jurisdiction; this was really each county trying to take care of their own issues.”

Currently, local governments are accountable for boarding or euthanizing animals found at prisoners’ houses. They’re not required to– and typically do not– involve apprehended owners in that process.

One of the state’s vast, rural counties has spent as much as $300,000 in one year to take prisoners’ animals, Goicoechea stated. Impoundment expenses around $20 a day per pet.

“I brought the bill really for Nye County because they had some huge concerns with it,” he said.

The American Kennel Club opposed a previous version of the measure that furthermore would have required individuals detained on animal ruthlessness charges to forfeit their pets if they cannot spend for animal care after 2 weeks.

Goicoechea removed that provision. AKC lobbyist Jennifer Clark did not respond to voicemails looking for comment on the changed costs Thursday.

State senators unanimously approved Senate Expense 371. It moves to the Assembly for consideration.

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