LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — People who are cruel to animals shouldn’t get a break in court. That’s the message from a dozen lawmakers behind Assembly Bill 159 (AB159).

Animal cruelty would be added to the list of crimes that are not eligible for probation under certain circumstances. AB159 would prevent judges from deferring judgment or reducing sentences below the minimum set by law.

Animal cruelty includes torturing, maiming, mutilating or killing pets — and “any cat or dog” under Nevada law. It also includes abandoning, starving or depriving an animal of necessary food or water. Law also states that dogs must be able to move 12 feet if they are tethered, and they cannot be left alone for more than 14 hours in a 24-hour period. See the full law: NRS 574.100.

A dozen lawmakers signed onto the bill, with Republican Assemblyman P.K. O’Neill leading the way. He represents Carson City, Storey County and a portion of Washoe County. The bill was introduced on Feb. 14.

AB159 also increases the maximum probation for animal cruelty to five years, and puts violations on the list of offenses that eliminate the chance for early release from prison.