RI Bill Would Restrict Keeping Dogs Outdoors, Remove Exemptions for Hunting and Sled Dogs

Rhode Island Senate Bill 2055 seeks to amend the state’s Care of Dogs statute (1) by removing the provision that currently allows dogs to be kept outside during certain temperature conditions if they have access to an outdoor housing facility and (2) by eliminating tethering exemptions for hunting and sled dogs.  AKC opposes S2055 as currently written, and encourages all concerned Rhode Island residents to contact the Senate Environment and Agriculture Committee and urge them to oppose the bill when it considers the bill on Wednesday, February 14. 

Dogs may be humanely contained in a multitude of ways.  Humane tethering is an important tool that allows for the control of dogs while in training, in the field, or when being groomed and prepared for dog shows.  It also allows for acclimation and enrichment for sled, hunting, and other working or performance dogs.  As with all types of animal care, dogs should never be tethered in a manner that could cause them harm. 

The American Kennel Club (AKC) opposes S2055 because the bill is unreasonable and fails to respect the purposes for which hunting and sledding breeds are kept and how they may be humanely acclimated to environmental conditions prior to doing the work for which they were bred.  Instead of placing additional limits on animal owners, AKC believes a better legislative alternative would focus on developing increased funding for enforcement of current cruelty laws.  

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
AKC strongly encourages all concerned Rhode Island fanciers and enthusiasts to contact the members of the Senate Environment and Agriculture Committee and urge them to oppose Senate Bill 2055. 

Senator V. Susan Sosnowski, Chair - sen-sosnowski@rilegislature.gov

Senator Cynthia A. Coyne, Vice Chair - sen-coyne@rilegislature.gov

Senator Jeanine Calkin, Secretary - sen-calkin@rilegislature.gov

Senator Stephen R. Archambault - sen-archambault@rilegislature.gov

Senator William J. Conley, Jr. - sen-conley@rilegislature.gov

Senator Dawn Euer - sen-euer@rilegislature.gov

Senator Nicholas D. Kettle - sen-kettle@rilegislature.gov

Senator Joshua Miller - sen-miller@rilegislature.gov

Committee Clerk Nancy Sullivan - Slegislation@rilegislature.gov

Concerned Rhode Island residents are also strongly encouraged to attend Wednesday hearing to respectfully urge opposition to S2055 in person.  Details on the hearing may be viewed at http://status.rilin.state.ri.us/documents/agenda-13204.pdf

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide additional information on S2055 as developments warrant.  For more information, contact AKC GR at doglaw@akc.org