RI Alert: Woonsocket City Council to Discuss Draconian BSL Proposal Tonight

RI Alert: Woonsocket City Council to Discuss Draconian BSL Proposal Tonight


The American Kennel Club has learned that the City Council of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, is expected to discuss a proposed breed ban at its meeting tonight.  It is anticipated that no official action will take place this evening in order to give the Council members opportunity to gather feedback.  However, the American Kennel Club (AKC) encourages all concerned Woonsocket residents to attend this evening’s meeting and express their opposition to the City Council.


(1) The proposal will impact all dogs commonly referred to as pit bulls, including American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, or any dog of mixed breed displaying the  “majority of physical traits” of any one or more of the above breeds.

(2) Any pit bull that has been licensed on or before the date of passage of the ordinance will be permitted to remain in Woonsocket. The license must be renewed yearly.

(2) The owner or keeper must be at least 21 years of age.

(3) The owner or keeper shall present to the City Clerk proof that the owner or keeper has procured liability insurance in the amount of at least $100,000.

(4) The owner or keeper, at the owner’s or keeper’s own expense shall have had the pit bull spayed or neutered and shall present to the City Clerk documentary proof of sterilization.

(5) At all times when a pit bull is at the property of the owner or keeper, the pit bull is to be confined, either in a secure, temporary enclosure, or within the premises of the owner or keeper, or within a fenced enclosure from which the dog cannot escape. At all times when a pit bull is away from the property of the owner or keeper, the owner or keeper shall keep the pit bull either securely leashed and muzzled, or in a “secure temporary enclosure.”

(6) The owner or keeper shall not sell or otherwise transfer the pit bull to any person except a member of the owner’s or keeper’s immediate family. The owner or keeper shall notify the City Clerk within five days in the event that the pit bull is lost, stolen, dies, or has a litter. In the event of a litter, the owner or keeper must deliver the puppies to the Animal Shelter for destruction or permanently remove the puppies from the city. Any pit bull puppies kept contrary to the provisions of this subsection are subject to immediate impoundment and disposal.

(7) The owner or keeper shall have posted at each possible entrance to the owner or keeper’s property where the pit bull is kept a conspicuous and clearly legible pit bull sign. The sign must be at least eight inches by 10 inches in rectangular dimensions and shall contain only the words “PIT BULL DOG” in lettering not less than two inches in height.


The American Kennel Club strongly opposes any legislation that determines a dog to be “dangerous” based on specific breeds or phenotypic classes of dogs.  We support laws that: establish a fair process by which specific dogs are identified as “dangerous” based on stated, measureable actions; impose appropriate penalties on irresponsible owners; and establish a well-defined method for dealing with dogs proven to be dangerous.

On principle, an extensive number of groups join the AKC in opposition to breed-specific legislation, including the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Bar Association.


Woonsocket residents are encouraged to contact the members of the City Council and express their opposition to the breed-specific proposal.

Councilman John F. Ward – President
Phone: 401-766-8743

Daniel M. Gendron – Vice President
Phone: 401-769-4458

Councilman Roger Jalette
Phone: 401-597-5790

Councilman Christopher Beauchamp
Phone: 401-356-4940

Councilman Robert Moreau
Phone: 401-766-3608

Councilman Albert Brien
Phone: 401-766-3416

Councilman Marc Dubois
Phone: 401-765-7675

Woonsocket residents are urged to attend tonight’s meeting of the City Council and express opposition to the proposal.  The meeting will be held at 7:00PM at 169 Main Street, Woonsocket, RI 02895.

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at 919-816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.