AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) encourages Rhode Island residents to take action as soon as possible on H. 7678, which seeks to create court-appointed legal advocates for animals. The bill will be considered by the House Judiciary Committee at a public hearing on Thursday, March 10, 2022, starting after the House session ends, at approximately 4:30PM.
Lawyers for Animals: AKC opposes H. 7678 because it would create court-appointed legal advocates for animals. Rhode Island courts appoint independent advocates to protect the legal rights of children or other people who are unable to manage their own affairs. H. 7678 would mirror this statutory text and extend it to “animals”. The goal of animal rights activists is to give animals the same rights and privileges as people by changing the legal classification of animals from property to “legal beings”.
The AKC and affiliated Rhode Island kennel clubs are animal welfare organizations that do not support legislation designed to provide animals with human rights. Changing the legal status of dogs as property would ultimately hamstring the ability of owners, veterinarians, and government agencies to protect and care for dogs.
For more background on this important issue:
Click here to read AKC’s Understanding the Difference Between Animal Rights and Animal Welfare.
Click here to read AKC’s Laws That Provide Court-Appointed Animal Advocates Could Undermine Animal Welfare.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
First, immediately email the House Judiciary Committee at HouseJudiciary@rilegislature.gov with your name and town expressing your strong opposition to H. 7678, the Lawyers for Animals bill.
Second, the Capitol is open to the public and concerned Rhode Island residents can speak at the hearing, which is expected to start around 4:30PM in the House Lounge on Thursday, March 10. Sign-up sheets will be available in/outside the hearing room.
AKC GR will continue to provide updates on pending dog-related legislation in Rhode Island. For more information on legislative issues in the state, contact AKC GR at 919-816-3720 or email@example.com.