Recent Changes to Nevada Pet Law

Recently, people have taken to the streets to protest in Nevada to ask for changes to Nevada law concerning animal cruelty.  Last September protesters gathered to lobby for stricter penalties for the miss treatment of animals in our state. As a result, a new ordinance past Las Vegas states that a person convicted of harming killing or abusing a pet will be barred from owning another pet for two up to five years. City officials recently broadened penalties for animal cruelty in our state. Under a recent ordinance past which was spearheaded by Las Vegas councilman Stavros Anthony, it is now illegal to tie your tether a pet outside for more than 10 hours during a 24 hour. Furthermore, they cannot be tethered outside at all if the National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory. It is sad that this commonsense principle must be passed into law based upon recent horrible events concerning animal cruelty in our state.

In addition, under the ordinance, when temperatures reach 105° pet owners are required to have some type of cooling mechanism such as a misting system or portable air conditioners if their pet is outside. Commonsense says you would keep your pet inside during such extreme temperatures.  The new ordinances which disallow tethering your pet which means tying them up outside bring the law in the City of Las Vegas against animal cruelty into alignment with other states. Under these city provisions the duration allowed to tether a pet in the city is strict then the states 14-hour limit.  This means that in the city you are not permitted to tether your dog for more than 10 hours and in the state, you are not allowed to other dogs more than 14 hours.  Specifically, the city ordinance states as follows:

1.2 Dog restraints and enclosures

With regard to dogs, it is a crime in Nevada to restrain a dog for more than fourteen (10) hours during a twenty-four (24) hour period. (In Las Vegas, the limit is 10 hours in a 24-hour period.) It is also illegal to restrain a dog by either:

using a prong, pinch, or choke collar or similar restraint, or

using a tether, chain, tie, trolley or pulley system, or other device that:

is less than twelve (12) feet in length, or

fails to allow the dog to move at least twelve (12) feet or,

allows the dog to reach a fence or other object that may cause the dog to become injured, entangled, or to die by strangulation after jumping the fence or object

Animal advocates praise these new ordinances which will protect Nevada pets from the extreme temperatures of the summer.  These new ordinances come at the advocation by Councilman Anthony as a result of recent animal cruelty events which would shock most of our collection collective conscience.  These new regulations made by the city of Las Vegas mirror the changes made by the city of North Las Vegas in December after the very sad story of Lily the laboratory retriever.

In August 2020 retriever Lily died after being tethered it outside in the heat in North Las Vegas. The owner Arnold Galanto, 42, was formally charged in January in North Las Vegas Municipal Court. The charges came about a month after the city in December changed the ordinances to allow harsher penalties for such blatant animal abuse.  Galanto was charged with illegally tethering his brown Labrador retriever mix outside his home for two days on August 19 and 20th.  A very sad video came forward showing Lily lying partly in the sun with her mouth open. You could see that it was just torturing the poor animal. Sadly, Lily passed away from heat exposure.  The ordinance passed by the city of North Las Vegas in December reduce the time that a dog could be tethered outside during the 24-hour period from 14 hours to 10 hours.  Animal rights advocates pushed for felony charges to be filed in such a situation.  However, the new ordinance makes it a misdemeanor in such situations.

The new ordinance passed in the city of Las Vegas not only prevents a pet owner from owning an animal for two to five years following a conviction, and it also bars a convicted person from living in the same household as a pet or working at a place where they have access to animals such as a shelter. Animal cruelty and torture in Nevada is a misdemeanor crime in Las Vegas punishable by $1000 fine and up to six months.   However, it is a felony to harm or maliciously torture or kill a pet.  The city attorney prosecutes misdemeanor cases while the more egregious cases are turned over to the district attorney’s office.  Penalties can be severe, especially after the first offense:

1.3. Penalties

The punishment for unjustifiably maiming, mutilating, or killing any cat or any dog or any animal kept for companionship or pleasure (whether belonging to the defendant or not) depends on the defendant’s state of mind:

  • If the act is committed in order to threaten, intimidate, or terrorize another person, it is a category C felony in Nevada carrying one to five (1 – 5) years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • If the act is committed willfully and maliciously, it is a category D felony carrying one to four (1 – 4) years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

Otherwise, the punishment for a first-time offense is a misdemeanor, and the penalties get harsher with each successive offense within a seven (7)-year period. And depending on the circumstances the defendant may be ordered to surrender ownership or possession of the allegedly mistreated animal:

A first offense of animal cruelty within the preceding seven (7) years is prosecuted as a misdemeanor in Nevada carrying:

  • two (2) days to six (6) months in Clark County Detention Center (or another county jail), and
  • 48 to 120 hours of community service, and
  • $200 to $1,000 in fines, and
  • restitution for all costs associated with the care and impoundment of any mistreated animal including money expended for veterinary treatment, feed, and housing

A second offense of animal cruelty within a seven (7)-year period is also a misdemeanor in Nevada. The sentence is increased to:

  • Ten (10) days to six (6) months in Clark County Detention Center (or another county jail), and
  • 100 hours to 200 hours of community service, and
  • $500 to $1,000 in fines, and
  • restitution for all expenses for the care and impoundment of the mistreated animal such veterinary services, food, and shelter

Finally, a third or subsequent offense of animal cruelty within a seven (7) year span is prosecuted as a category C felony in Nevada. The punishment includes:

  • one to five (1 – 5) years in prison, and
  • maybe up to $10,000 in fines, and
  • restitution for the expense of treating, feeding, and housing the mistreated animal.

At, we are here to serve our community and provide legal services in the Henderson and Las Vegas area.  We are pet owners and active in charitable pet organizations.  We are a boutique law firm providing experienced and personal representation to injured clients.  At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients on various legal matters and have over 15 years of experience in reviewing insurance policies and in Nevada insurance law.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please do not hesitate to call the offices of and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers.  She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve.  Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of, Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices. is a boutique, family-owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.