It’s been a busy week for pet-ownership issues in the Vegas Valley. Here’s a rundown of recent developments aimed at saving animals and increasing owner and dealer responsibility.
Feral cats spared: On November 17, the Clark County Commission deputized the Animal Foundation’s Community Cats program to trap, spay or neuter, vaccinate, ear-tip for identification and then return un-owned and outdoor cats. While this won’t fully appease county residents who groan at the sight of roaming or feral felines in their neighborhoods, it ought to reduce the amount breeding in the community—which lowers the homeless cat population—and caught for destruction. It’s a program that has been successful in other large cities, and its pilot program here has saved nearly 500 cats since June.
Exotic pets, explained: The commission also established permits, registration fees and inspections required for owners of exotic and wild animals (think: wolves, monkeys, boa constrictors 12 feet and under, among others—all codified in the amendment), with the “inherently dangerous” varieties (tigers, bears, hyenas, rattlesnakes, etc.) banned from ownership by basically everyone. Despite protestation during last Tuesday’s joint meeting and online by the anti-animal-regulation constituency, the concerns leading to the measures included protecting animals from inexperienced owners and community members from potential attacks.
Buyer beware: The City of Las Vegas will soon consider a proposed ordinance to limit pet retailers and dealers to only selling, displaying and giving away dogs and cats from shelters and nonprofits, thus banning those from private breeders and so-called puppy mills. While that limits the choices of consumers looking for pure-bred animals, and threatens the futures of stores that currently sell them, it promises to divert more local animals away from euthanasia and toward loving homes—which, like the county amendments, isn’t just a responsible act, but a humane one.