Rhode Island Legislation Seeks to Require Licensing of “Breeders”

Rhode Island Senate Bill 349, which is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, February 28, seeks to require the licensure of all “breeders”.

Rhode Island Senate Bill 349, which is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, February 28, seeks to require the licensure of all “breeders”. 

CURRENT LAW CARVES OUT AN EXCEPTION FOR “HOBBY BREEDERS”
Current Rhode Island law defines “breeder” as a person engaged in the propagation of purebred or crossbred dogs and/or cats for the purpose of improving and enhancing a breed recognized and registered by the AKC, American Field Stud Book, a registered breed association, or for sale at wholesale or retail, unless otherwise exempted as a hobby breeder

“Hobby breeder” means those persons whose regular occupation is not the breeding and raising of dogs and cats and whose method of sale is at retail only.   Hobby Breeders who sell 20 or more dogs or 3 or more litters, whichever is greater, in a single calendar year shall be considered a breeder (not a hobby breeder). 

WHAT SENATE BILL 347 WOULD DO:
As currently worded, Senate Bill 347 seeks to:

  • Require the annual licensure of breeders by the Rhode Island Director of Environmental Management.  Licenses would cost $100 annually. 
  • Failure for qualifying persons to become licensed as a breeder shall, upon conviction, guilty plea, or plea of no contest, be fined $500 for a first offense and up to $1000 and forfeiture of animals for a second or subsequent offense. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Concerned Rhode Island Residents are strongly encouraged to contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and express their concerns with the S349. 

State Senator Michael J. McCaffrey, Chair - sen-mccaffrey@rilegislature.gov

State Senator Paul V. Jabour, Vice Chair - sen-jabour@rilegislature.gov

State Senator Erin Lynch Prata, Secretary -  sen-lynch@rilegislature.gov

State Senator Stephen R. Archambault (BILL SPONSOR) - sen-archambault@rilegislature.gov

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

State Senator Cynthia A. Coyne (BILL SPONSOR) - sen-coyne@rilegislature.gov

State Senator Mark W. Gee - sen-gee@rilegislature.gov

State Senator Frank S. Lambardi - sen-lombardi@rilegislature.gov

State Senator Harold M. Metts - sen-metts@rilegislature.gov

State Senator Donna M. Nesselbush - sen-nesselbush@rilegislature.gov

State Senator Leonidas P. Raptakis - sen-raptakis@rilegislature.gov

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3503, or email doglaw@akc.org.