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Rhode Island Action Needed Now: State-wide Mandatory /Spay Neuter To be Considered Tomorrow, May 21

(Tuesday, May 20, 2014)
A newly introduced bill, Rhode Island House Bill 8205, which seeks to limit all Rhode Island dog owners from owning or harboring any dog six months of age and older that has not been spayed or neutered is scheduled to be considered by the Rhode Island House, Education, and Welfare Committee tomorrow, Wednesday, May 21, 2014.

It is vitally important that all concerned Rhode Island dog owners and breeders, all Rhode Island dog clubs, and all Parent Clubs contact the members of the committee TODAY in opposition to this proposal.

WHAT HB 8205 WILL DO: As introduced, HB 8205:

  • Limits all Rhode Island residents from owning or harboring any dog over the age of six months that has not been spayed or neutered.
  • Provides limited exceptions for certain individuals including persons who hold either a license to keep an unaltered dog, or a license and permit for breeding dogs issued by the animal control officer for the city or town in which they live. An exemption also applies for dogs that, due to age, health, or illness, it would be “inappropriate” to be spayed or neutered.
  • Mandates that an “intact” permit be issued to the owner of an unaltered dog if the owner signs a written statement that such animal will not be allowed to breed unless the owner has first obtained a breeding permit.
  • Leaves to the discretion of animal control officers whether an “intact” permit may be issued to an individual who refuses to spay or neuter their dog.
  • Sets the fee for the “intact” permit at $100 per year per dog.
THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB OPPOSES HB 8205. On principle, we oppose the concept of breeding permits, breeding bans or the mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who meet their responsibilities.

Mandatory spay/neuter is an ineffective solution to animal control problems because it fails to address the heart of animal control issues—irresponsible ownership. These laws are extremely difficult to enforce and are often easily evaded. These laws most often unfairly punish responsible owners who already comply with local animal control laws, while irresponsible owners continue to make problems for the community and local shelters.

Laws mandating the spay/neuter of young dogs fail to take into consideration scientific research indicating that juvenile spay/neuter may ultimately prove harmful to a dog’s long-term health, and may impact dogs’ continence, increase incidences of some tumors, and reduce lifespan. Ultimately, we believe that all health care decisions, including whether to spay or neuter, should be made by a dog’s owner in consultation with their veterinarian.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: All concerned Rhode Island dog breeders and owners, all Rhode Island dog clubs, and members of AKC parent clubs are strongly urged to contact the members of the Rhode Island House Health, Education, and Welfare Committee (listed below) today in opposition to HB 8205.

The bill will be considered on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.
Time: upon the “rise of the House”.
Location: Room 135 of the State House, 82 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02903.

In addition to the talking points above, click here for information on how mandatory spay/neuter laws have proven to be an ineffective solution to animal control concerns and how they punish responsible breeders.

Members of the Rhode Island House Health, Education, and Welfare Committee:

Representative Joseph M. McNamara, Chairperson
rep-mcnamara@rilin.state.ri.us

Representative Samuel A. Azzinaro, Vice Chair
rep-azzinaro@rilin.state.ri.us

Representative Grace Diaz, Deputy Chairperson
rep-diaz@rilin.state.ri.us

Representative Dennis M. Canario, Secretary
rep-canario@rilin.state.ri.us

Representative Marvin L. Abney
rep-abney@rilin.state.ri.us

Representative Mia A. Ackerman
rep-ackerman@rilin.state.ri.us

Representative Gregg Amore
rep-amore@rilin.state.ri.us

Representative David A. Bennett
rep-bennett@rilin.state.ri.us

Representative Maria E. Cimini
rep-cimini@rilin.state.ri.us

Representative Arthur J. Corvese
rep-corvese@rilin.state.ri.us

Representative Gordon D. Fox
rep-fox@rilin.state.ri.us

Representative Arthur Handy
rep-handy@rilin.state.ri.us

Representative James N. McLaughlin
rep-mclaughlin@rilin.state.ri.us

Representative Michael Morin
rep-morin@rilin.state.ri.us

Representative Brian C. Newberry
rep-newberry@rilin.state.ri.us

Representative Larry Valencia
rep-valencia@rilin.state.ri.us

Representative Anastasia Williams
rep-williams@rilin.state.ri.us

The American Kennel Club will provide more information on HB 8205 as developments occur. For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations at (919) 816-3720, or email doglaw@akc.org.
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