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Rhode Island Action Alert: Several Dog Bills to be Heard 2/14 and 2/15!

(Friday, February 10, 2012)

Several bills potentially affecting dogs and responsible breeders and owners will be considered by committees of the Rhode Island General Assembly. The American Kennel Club (AKC) urges all concerned Rhode Island residents to consider the provisions of these bills, and to contact the respective committee members with their concerns.

The House bills listed below will be considered by the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, February 14. (Click here for the House Judiciary Committee’s agenda.) The Senate bills listed below will be considered by the Senate Environment and Agriculture Committee on Wednesday, February 15. (Click here for the Senate Environment and Agriculture Committee’s agenda.)

Senate Bill 2193 seeks to virtually eliminate the veterinary procedure commonly known as debarking from being performed in the state. The AKC and the American Veterinary Medical Association share concerns regarding unreasonable limitations on veterinarians performing debarking procedures. Click here to read AKC’s February 7 alert on SB 2193.

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Senate Bill 2035 -- In addition to other provisions regarding the keeping of dogs, this bill would:

  • Make it a violation for a person to keep a dog outside for more than 14 hours during any 24-hour period. The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs, including providing an adequate and nutritious diet, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship, and training in appropriate behavior. We believe that outdoor enclosures should provide appropriate protection from adverse or extreme weather conditions; however, the keeping of dogs in outdoor enclosures during appropriate weather conditions should not be subject to arbitrary time limitations.
  • Allow the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RI SPCA) in conjunction with animal control officers to enter private property without a warrant to enforce the provisions of the bill. The AKC believes this is a violation of the rights of responsible Rhode Island dog owners against unreasonable search and seizure.

Senate Bill 2035 will be considered by the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture on Wednesday, February 15, 2012. Click here for the Senate Environment and Agriculture committee’s email contact information.

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A number of other dog-related bills will also be considered, including:

  • HB 7140 / SB 2032, which seek to create a registry for those who violate animal cruelty laws.
  • HB 7139 / SB 2034, which empower veterinarians with the state Department of Environmental Management and/or representatives of the RI SPCA to act as legal advocates for animals which are the subject of court actions.

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

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