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Nevada Senate OKs bill to give inmates choice on pet care

The Nevada State Legislature.

Corrections officials would have to ask Nevada jail and prison inmates what they want to happen to their pets while they're incarcerated under a bill advancing in the statehouse.

Senate Bill 371 aims to ease the burden on local governments that must pay to care for those animals, and shield them from lawsuits if the animals are put down.

Pets could be spared from euthanasia if inmates point officers toward a friend or family member willing to care for them.

Currently, local governments are responsible for boarding or euthanizing animals found at inmates' homes. They're not required to -- and usually don't -- involve arrested owners in that process.

Republican Sen. Pete Goicoechea of Eureka says Nye County has spent as much as $300,000 in one year to impound inmates' animals.

State senators passed his bill unanimously Thursday.

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