RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- Several News 4 viewers emailed concerns on how animals are being treated in local retail stores.
Animal control officials said if they get complaints about animal welfare at stores, they do not take it lightly. "We do get calls for our local pet shops, we have a variety of them in town, and when we do get a complaint, we will go out, we’ll investigate and look into the situation," said Washoe County Regional Animal Services Supervisor Bobby Smith.
Smith said if they find a violation, the first step is working with owners to fix the problem. "Education is the first line of defense and then if that doesn’t work, then of course there are other legal remedies we can follow."
Smith said they will be proposing animal code changes to County Commissioners this fall. The changes will allow animal services to have better enforcement capabilities to ensure the welfare of animals in pet stores. "It will clarify what the law is, it will put procedures in place, documentation that will be needed to be kept by the stores, just things so we can go and connect the dots."
One local resident wants the sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits in retail stores to end. "Closing a business is not what we want, but turning the animals over to the accredited nonprofits is what we're looking for," said Billy Howard of Puppy Mill Free Reno.
Smith said animal services wants to hear all input before a final document is presented to the county. If you are interested in attending a workshop about proposed animal code changes, Washoe County is hosting two next week. For more information, go to the Washoe County website