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Nevada Animal Abuse Laws: What You Should Know

Nevada Animal Abuse Laws: What You Should Know

In Nevada, animal abuse is serious crime, but the state may be releasing offenders earlier than expected. Keep reading to learn more about animal abuse laws and the state’s new approach to incarcerated animal abusers.

The Worst in the State

In recent years, terrifying cases of extreme animal abuse have taken hold of Nevada news. Several cases in particular represent the worst animal abuse cases in the state’s history but despite these despicable cases, state officials may be releasing offenders early thanks to a battle of semantics in the war on animal abuse.

According to the law, pets and animals are considered property, not beings, which means that animal abuse is technically a nonviolent crime. Regardless of felony charges, an offender cannot legally be held responsible for violence in the prison system. Violent crimes can only be committed against fellow humans, not animals.

However, regardless of the fine print, most people find animal abuse horrifying. Harming a pet or maiming an animal for fun is one of the most despicable acts a person can commit. For many Nevada animal activists, the possibility of release is too horrible to bear.

Anyone that can commit that kind of heinous act against a helpless animal, you have to wonder," said Gina Greisen of Nevada Voters for Animals. "And we know that there are links between animal cruelty, domestic violence, interpersonal violence, violent crime.”

For activists like Greisen and animal lovers everywhere, animals are companions and loved ones. The release of violent offenders puts these furry friends in danger, but also raises more questions about criminality, legislative semantics, and whether violence against animals is a sign of violent tendencies.


One of the most violent offenders, known for cutting up dogs and posting videos of the vi9olence online. After his arrest for killing puppies in a Reno hotel room, a judge sentenced him to the maximum 28 years in prison without parole for at least 11 years.

The judge charged him according to the sentencing guidelines for violent crimes and property damage, but that also made it possible to find a loophole for good behavior. If an offender found guilty of property crimes is compliant with the rules of incarceration, they have the opportunity to be released on good behavior.

This is the foundation of the argument for early release. If pets are property, then it is impossible to commit violence against them and a judge cannot sentence someone to the maximum amount of time for a violent crime. Additionally, those convicted of property crimes can be released early on good behavior.


There are however other instances where small differences in legal language don’t change the outcome. An offender named Daman Holmes was seen punching a pit bull while threatening a woman and her family. Another man, Johnathan Hamly broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home, assaulted her, and set fire to her home killing her three dogs.

These offenders are guilty of crimes outside of animal abuse, but the abuse can be held against them during sentencing. In other words, animal abuse could be an aggravating factor in cases where the offender commits abuse during the course of another violent crime.

However, despite laws that ensure that violent offenders stay behind bars, animal advocates are worried that abusers who kill and torture animals could kill and torture human victims upon release. Whether their fears are founded has yet to be revealed, but it is clear that there’s a long road ahead for animal abuse legislation in Nevada.

Have You Been Accused of Animal Abuse in Nevada?
Accusations of animal abuse are not to be taken lightly and may be used to destroy your reputation. Not only can violently abuse result in prison time, but the effects of a criminal sentence for outlast any incarceration sentence. Not only can criminal charges affect your immediate reputation, but they can also destroy your future.

Contact The Draskovich Law Group and protect your future today.


Contact The Draskovich Law Group

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