Permit for animal sales OK'd

Selling animals outdoors in North Las Vegas is now illegal without a permit.

The City Council on Wednesday unanimously passed an ordinance requiring those who wish to sell pets outside to obtain an Animal Sales Permit. The ordinance was meant to answer animal rights activists' complaints about what they contend is the inhumane treatment of pets for sale at the Broadacres Swap Meet, 2930 N. Las Vegas Blvd., near Pecos Road.

But the advocates argue the ordinance, which requires applicants to pay an annual $25 fee and comply with regulations concerning outdoor pets, doesn't go far enough. The sale of animals at the swap meet should be banned entirely, they said.

"People shouldn't be hawking puppies at the swap meet like a bag of rice," said Gina Greisen, president of Nevada Voters for Animals.

North Las Vegas officials have been working on a way to address the issue since summer, when Greisen captured video footage at the swap meet of puppies crammed into overcrowded cages in the heat.

Greg Danz, Broadacres' owner, said the video captured an isolated incident.

"We've been selling animals at swap meets for 33 years and have had only the one instance," he said. "It was definitely wrong, but it happened."

Danz supports the city's ordinance but said he would fight a ban on selling animals outdoors.

"I'm opposed to anything that treats us differently," he said. "We're basically an outdoor shopping mall, and to treat us differently is discrimination."

Clark County Commissioners Chris Giunchigliani and Tom Collins each sent the city a letter supporting a ban on selling animals outdoors.

City Councilman Richard Cherchio called the ordinance a good first step. The city has legal concerns about banning outdoor sales of pets on private property, he said.

Councilwoman Anita Wood called the ordinance "a wonderful compromise."

"Is this a perfect answer? Probably not," she said. "But it's certainly better" than what we had.

The ordinance also prohibits giving away animals outdoors without a permit and selling or giving away animals on public property.

Current North Las Vegas law requires those who keep animals outdoors to provide shade from the sun and protection from rain, snow and temperatures below 50 degrees.

Contact reporter Lynnette Curtis at lcurtis@review or 702-383-0285.


North Las Vegas police officers and their supporters packed the City Council chambers Wednesday night to protest potential budget cuts they say could trim officer paychecks or lead to layoffs.

Clad in T-shirts that read, "Your community of choice is only 78% safe," the standing-room-only crowd made a statement before city budget talks tonight and Friday.

"You will be faced with making some tough decisions in regards to layoffs," Terrence McAllister, president of the North Las Vegas Police Officers Association, said during the public comment portion of the meeting. "Hopefully those decisions will be based on the best interests" of the community.

The police union, which represents almost 500 police and corrections officers, last year agreed to contract concessions, including deferrals of cost-of-living increases, to save the financially strapped city $4.4 million. The union said it has done its part and cannot afford to give more, either in terms of salaries or staff. The department is only 78 percent staffed as it is, the union said.

"We've worked with less for years and years," said Mike Yarter, vice president of the union. "I'm not sure we could afford to work with any less."

The city, which is dealing with plummeting tax revenues, has eliminated and frozen positions, trimmed departmental budgets, reduced overtime and begun voluntary employee furlough days. Still, the city must cut an additional $33.4 million to get through fiscal year 2011, its finance director said.

North Las Vegas has scheduled special City Council meetings to discuss budget issues at 5 p.m. today and Friday at the Alexander Library, 1755 W. Alexander Road. But the talks might wrap up tonight if talks progress quickly, the city said.

Danielle Nettleton, whose husband, Las Vegas police officer Trevor Nettleton, was slain at their North Las Vegas home last year, made a special plea to protect funding for law enforcement.

"Please don't take their jobs away," Nettleton said. "I made a 911 call on Nov. 19, and they were there within minutes. If jobs are taken away, they won't be able to be there as quickly. Please take that into consideration for me and other families."