Nevada Laws Fail to Protect Exotic Species

In November, Nevada state authorities responded to two exotic animal abuse cases that beg the question, "Why does Nevada have the least amount of protection for "exotic," non-native animals than any other state?" Well, it's high time for that to change!

On November 7, 2016, a woman fleeing charges of child endangerment in Harris County, Texas was arrested in Pahrump, Nevada. Texas authorities tracked Trisha Meyers there after her Texas landlord evicted her following her arrest for child endangerment. This was for keeping tigers, monkeys, a fox, a skunk, and a cougar freely roaming in her home with her 14-year-old homeschooled daughter. Trisha Meyers is expected to be extradited to Harris County, Texas to face her child endangerment charges. The animals were taken into custody, however Texas law also fails to protect exotic species which are kept quite prevalently and even allowed to be victims of canned hunts.

On November 17th, 2016, Jacki Freeman, also of Pahrump, Nevada, was cited after the Nye County Sheriffs' Department investigated allegations of neglected animals kept in cages on her property and in her home. Three African lions, a Bengal tiger, eight Canadian Siberian Lynx hybrid cats, a black panther, a Fennec fox, and a Cervel Caracal hybrid cat were seized. Freeman and Abby Hedengran shared a Nye County license to possess "special conditions" animals. Due to the filthy conditions the animals were subjected to, such as being locked in rooms in the home with lots of their excrement, the animals were seized. Freeman, being their current caregiver, was cited for animal cruelty and for illegally keeping the Fennec fox. The “Special Conditions” permit is being reviewed.


What you can do:



Please join us in demanding that the Nevada Department of Wildlife enacts regulations restricting individuals from possessing exotic and potentially dangerous animals by submitting our letter below. It can be done and has been done in the past in other states. The state of Mississippi enacted regulations to protect exotic animals and the public following In Defense of Animals' 1997 investigation and successful court action against Catherine Twiss of Philadelphia, Mississippi for the horrendous treatment of exotic animals including lions, tigers, bears, a cougar, a liger, and a camel, as well as domestic animals including stallions, and dogs.

Personalize and submit the letter below to email your comments to:
  • Director Tony Wasley - Nevada Department of Wildlife


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Stringent Regulations Needed on the Keeping of Exotic and Potentially Dangerous Species

Dear [Decision Maker],

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]


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