Nevada Close To Passing Cooney’s Law

In 2010, an adopted dog named Cooney was brutally murdered by his owner.  The man gutted Cooney with a box cutter.  Under Nevada Law, the maximum penalty for first time animal abusers is only a misdemeanor – no matter how horrific the crime.  The system does not allow judges to increase the penalty.  A bill named in honor of Cooney is now working its way through the system.  If passed, it will make it a category D felony to intentionally harm a companion animal.  I wish it were for harm to any animal but at least it’s a start.  

Cooney’s Bill also includes a provision that makes it illegal to separate puppies and kittens from their mothers before eight weeks of age.  As a veterinarian, this provision thrills me.  Puppies and kittens younger than eight weeks old require an enormous amount of care, more than the average person is equipped to provide.  In addition, they learn a tremendous amount from their mother’s and littermates between six and eight weeks of age.  I strongly believe puppies and kittens should not be taken from their mothers until after eight weeks.

If you live in Nevada, I urge you to contact your lawmakers and voice strong support for Cooney’s law.  Animals depend on us, let’s not let them down.  Thank you!   

More information is available at Nevada Voters For Animals.      

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.

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