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 journal.com or 702-383-0285.