County approves new dog breeding rules
Tribune News Service
MINDEN, Nev. – Douglas County commissioners approved the first reading of an ordinance that implements the state’s new puppy mill law.
The bill was approved in the last Legislative session and targeted large-scale commercial breeders, according to animal humane groups.
In testifying for the bill, Las Vegas activist Beverlee McGrath said many rural counties either have no rules regarding puppy mills or don’t have the resources to shut down a puppy mill.
She testified that the cost of closing a 200-225-dog mill in Amargosa Valley was estimated to be $250,000 by Nye County Animal Control.
The new ordinance affects anyone who is responsible for the operation of an establishment that sells or breeds dogs commercially.
Douglas County already requires kennel and breeder services to obtain a license that required an inspection by an animal control officer.
New with the ordinance is a requirement that enclosures must not be stacked and must prevent the animals from harming one another or people.
County code requires that kennels maintain comfortable temperatures using adequate ventilation or air conditioning.
The revision requires that a structure housing a commercial pet operation keep temperatures cool during heat advisories and to protect animals when there is a high-wind warning.
Under the new ordinance, a puppy can’t be sold unless it has a registered microchip and all vaccinations. It also limits the age and times a female dog may be bred.
Commissioners also introduced new rules dealing with barking dogs in response to the courts finding ordinances similar to Douglas County’s unconstitutional.
The new rule provides specific guidelines on what constitutes a barking dog.
Under the new rules, at least two people from different households must complain before a summons is issued for a barking dog.
The definition is being modified to include a dog who barks or makes other noise constantly for 30 minutes or sporadically for an hour in any 24-hour period.
Dogs making noise in response to a trespasser or someone who’s teasing the dog are not in violation.
Neither ordinance will take effect until after commissioners approve it at second reading.