Nevada Rules!: Animal Abuse Now A Felony

State legislators in Nevada approve a bill that makes it a felony to kill, torture or maliciously injure an animal. Photo credit: Jeffrey Marini

I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being. –Abraham Lincoln

(ANIMAL LEGISLATION) NEVADA — Federal law makers in Nevada are cracking down on animal abusers with the implementation of Cooney’s Law, a law that treats animal cruelty as a criminal felony. Nevada’s new animal welfare law goes into effect Saturday. 
With an increase in awareness and animal cruelty enforcement, as portrayed in popular TV shows like Animal Planet’s Animal Cops, pets are beginning to receive more rights and protection from violence. Experts in criminology and mental health fields are well aware of the animal cruelty syndrome and the strong link between animal cruelty and other violent pathologies such as domestic abuse. Before 1990, only six states had felony provisions in their animal cruelty laws. Read on for more on Cooney’s Law and how Nevada is protecting its pets.— Global Animal


State legislators in Nevada approve a bill that makes it a felony to kill, torture or maliciously injure an animal. Photo credit: Jeffrey Marini

KTNV, Makayla Zurn

A new Nevada law goes into effect this Saturday. Cruelty to animals now carries a felony charge. Animal abusers will now be treated like criminals who commit robberies, assaults and drive under the influence.

In June, Gov. Sandoval signed Senate Bill 223, also known as Cooney’s Law.

The bill was named after a northern Nevada shelter dog who was brutally tortured with a box cutter and killed by his owner- A crime that only came with a misdemeanor charge.

On October 1, this kind of senseless violence won’t be taken lightly. Cruelty to animals will be a felony in the State of Nevada.

Local organization, Noah’s Animal House, associated with Shade Tree, championed the bill. They say animal abuse and domestic violence go hand in hand.

“A lot of times we do have animals that have come into our program that have been intentionally harmed by an abuser to get back at the victim,” said Crystal McIntosh, Manager of Noah’s Animal House. “And they do sometimes come in with severe medical problems and injuries that need to be addressed.” 

Noah’s Animal House takes in pets that need rescuing from abusive households. The organization says this bill is something they’ve all been waiting for.

“I see people who ask me, what do I do, how do I seek justice for my pet? And now they can,” said McIntosh.

A felony charge for animal abuse will come with a one-to-five year prison sentence and a fine of up to $10,000.

More KTNV:

Read more on animal cruelty and Cooney’s Law: 

Cooney’s Law Fights To Stop Animal Abusers, Violent Criminals

The Animal Cruelty Syndrome




  1. Thank you Nevada! Now how about the rest of us get going in our states. People need to know what goes on, stop turning a blind eye and a deaf ear. It’s not “just” a dog , cat or whatever and abuse of them affects us all! If they’ll abuse an animal they’ll do the same to a woman or a child!