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Your pet means the world to you. But, in Nevada, you can have your animal confiscated and even be charged with a crime if you leave the animal alone in a hot vehicle. In these warm summer months, it is important to know the law and understand the consequences of leaving your dog or cat unsupervised in your car. Read on for everything you need to know to avoid legal trouble—and losing your pet.

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What the law says

In Nevada, people are prohibited from leaving a dog or cat unattended in a “parked or standing motor vehicle during a period of extreme heat or cold or in any other manner that endangers the safety of the cat or dog.”

If a police officer sees your pet unsupervised in your car and thinks its welfare is in jeopardy, the cop is allowed to break in to the vehicle and “rescue” it. 

The one exception

There is one exception to the law, and that is when licensed hunters are enlisting the help of a dog to hunt game birds or mammals during the relevant hunting season. If a dog is engaging in hunting-related field trials or training exercises, it is not against the law to leave the animal unattended in a vehicle.

What can happen if you’re charged

In Nevada, it is considered a misdemeanor to leave a dog or cat unsupervised in a car under dangerous conditions. The state’s misdemeanor sentence can include:

  • Up to six months of jail time
  • Fines up to $1,000

But, for animal lovers, there may be no worse punishment than this: You may lose your dog or cat forever. When pets are confiscated from cars, the officer is required to let the owners know where the animal is being sheltered. You will then have a certain amount of time to reclaim the animal and pay the sheltering costs. If you don’t or are unable, the court may order the pet to:

  • Be euthanized
  • Be sold in an auction
  • Remain in the care of the police officer

If you’ve been charge

You may be exonerated if your lawyer can prove that the temperature was not dangerous and that the animal did not face a major risk.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a misdemeanor for leaving a cat or dog alone in a hot vehicle, contact the premier defense attorney in Las Vegas at 702-868-8866.

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