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AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) encourages Rhode Island residents to take action as soon as possible on H. 5577, 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 Tuesday, March 2, 2021, starting at 7pm.

AKC opposes H. 5577 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 individuals who are unable to manage their own affairs.  H. 5577 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”. One strategy of animal rights activists is to extend the laws designed to protect vulnerable people, to also apply to animals.

AKC supports enforcement of state animal cruelty laws.  The AKC is an animal welfare organization that does not support legislation designed to provide animals non-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.


First, immediately email the House Judiciary Committee at with your name and town to express your opposition to H. 5577.

Second, to speak during the committee hearing, sign up before 11am on March 2, 2021, by clicking here.

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. 

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will continue to provide action alerts and updates on H. 5577.  To opt-in to receive text message action alerts, please text AKCGR to 50457.  After receiving a confirmation text, complete the registration by clicking on the provided link and saving your mobile number to your profile in our database.  To sign up to receive AKC GR’s Legislative Alerts emails, click here.

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