District Attorney Launches Campaign Against Animal Cruelty - 8 News NOW

District Attorney Launches Campaign Against Animal Cruelty

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LAS VEGAS -- The Clark County District Attorney's animal cruelty campaign launched Thursday has a strong message: Hurt your pets and pay the price.

The campaign was launched a day after a Berkeley law student pleaded guilty to a felony charge for beheading a bird at the Flamingo resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

The campaign focuses on caring for pets during the summer when temperatures reach the triple digits. The extreme heat can be a killer for pets, but the district attorney's campaign says, the defenseless animals don't have to get hurt by the heat.

District Attorney Steve Wolfson is making sure the public pays attention through a public service announcement that started running Thursday.

"As temperatures outside climb into triple digits, remember leaving an animal in a parked car or without shelter and water is neglect and it is a crime," Wolfson says in the public service announcement video. "Every year, officers respond to over 5,000 animal cruelty calls in southern Nevada."

Wolfson said he wants people to report animal abuse.

A pet left in a car or a dog left to suffer the heat in their own backyard could be considered abuse. He says these animals don't stand a chance without their owner's or the public's help.

"That's all we are asking people to do, is to be aware it's hot in Las Vegas," he said. "Don't leave your dog or animal out in the yard without water or shade.

"If not saving them, trying to make it better for them. That's all I can hope for, is trying to make it better."

Animal control officers investigate animal abuse reports.

The day of the campaign's launch, officer Darrell Hampton responded to a call about dogs left in a garage.

Turns out the garage is cool. But Hampton said he wants to make sure the dog owners know how to take care of their animals.

He leaves them a note to contact animal control and if he doesn't get a call back, he'll return to the house.

Abuse and neglect of an animal is a misdemeanor. If the district attorney can prove it was intentional, it becomes punishable as a felony.

Wolfson said he wants to make sure visitors to the valley also get the message.

He says the most common complaint is visitors leaving their pets inside cars while their owners go inside hotels and casinos.

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