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Several dog-related bills will be considered by Rhode Island legislative committees this week.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) supports both Senate Bill 2432, which seeks to prohibit the misrepresentation of a pet as a service dog, and Senate Bill 2133, which seeks to protect homeless persons in possession of a service animal from being denied access to any homeless shelter.

The AKC also strongly opposes House Bill 7477, which seeks to require pet stores to only sell cats or dogs obtained from an animal shelter, dog pound, or animal rescue.

Concerned Rhode Island residents are strongly encouraged to respectfully share their opinions with the committee members prior to the hearings on these bills.  For more details, see below.

Senate Bill 2432 – This bill would prohibit misrepresentation of the status of a pet dog as a service dog to acquire any right or privilege afforded disabled persons. The department of health would be required to provide decals for posting by businesses notifying the public of this law and would require the department to provide informational pamphlets to businesses, upon request, providing permissible questions to determine the status of a dog. This act would also provide for civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars ($500) and thirty (30) hours of community service for violators.

The AKC supports Senate Bill 2432, which is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, May 1.  Rhode Island residents are encouraged to contact the committee members and express support for S.2432.

Senator Erin Lynch Prata, Chairperson – sen-lynchprata@rilegislature.gov
Senator Stephen R. Archambault, Vice Chairperson – sen-archambault@rilegislature.gov
Senator Harold M. Metts, Secretary – sen-metts@rilegislature.gov
Senator Cynthia A. Coyne – sen-coyne@rilegislature.gov
Senator Mark W. Gee – sen-gee@rilegislature.gov
Senator Paul V. Jabour – sen-jabour@rilegislature.gov
Senator Frank S. Lombardi – sen-lombardi@rilegislature.gov
Senator Donna M. Nesselbush – sen-nesselbush@rilegislature.gov
Senator Leonidas P. Raptakis – sen-raptakis@rilegislature.gov
Committee Clerk Robert A. Ricci – Slegislation@rilegislature.gov

Senate Bill 2133 – The AKC supports Senate Bill 2133, which would protect homeless persons in possession of a service animal, as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, from being denied access to any homeless shelter in violation of the ADA or the state or federal Fair Housing Practices Acts.

Senate Bill 2133 is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Housing and Municipal Government Committee on Wednesday, May 2.  Rhode Island residents are encouraged to contact the committee members and express support for S.2133.

Senator Frank A. Ciccone, III, Chairperson – sen-ciccone@rilegislature.gov
Senator Elizabeth A. Crowley, Vice Chairperson – sen-crowley@rilegislature.gov
Senator Donna M. Nesselbush, Secretary – sen-nesselbush@rilegislature.gov
Senator Frank Lombardo, III – sen-lombardo@rilegislature.gov
Senator Thomas J. Paolino – sen-paolino@rilegislature.gov
Senator Roger A. Picard – sen-picard@rilegislature.gov

House Bill 7477 – The AKC strongly opposes House Bill 7477, which would prohibit pet shops from offering for sale cats or dogs that are not obtained from an animal shelter, dog pound or animal rescue.  This act would also make it unlawful for any person (except shelters, pounds, rescues, county fairs, 4-H programs, or similar exhibitions or education programs) to sell, exchange, trade, barter or display any dog or cat on any roadside, public right-of-way, parkway, median, park, or other outdoor market.

The American Kennel Club emphatically supports freedom of choice in selecting a pet. We actively promote efforts to ensure that people are educated, understand the demands of responsible ownership and have the option to choose a purpose-bred pet that is right for them. AKC strongly opposes any measure that restricts responsible choice by compelling people and/or retailers to obtain pets solely from shelter or rescue distributors.

House Bill 7477 is scheduled to be considered by the House Health, Education, and Welfare Committee on Wednesday, May 2.  Rhode Island residents are encouraged to contact the committee members and respectfully express opposition to H.7477. 

Representative Joseph M. McNamara, Chair – rep-mcnamara@rilegislature.gov
Representative Dennis M. Canario, First Vice-Chair – rep-canario@rilegislature.gov
Representative Mia A. Ackerman, Second Vice-Chair – rep-ackerman@rilegislature.gov
Representative Samuel A. Azzinaro – rep-azzinaro@rilegislature.gov
Representative David A. Bennett – rep-bennett@rilegislature.gov
Representative Julie A. Casimiro – rep-casimiro@rilegislature.gov
Representative Susan R. Donovan – rep-donovan@rilegislature.gov
Representative Arthur Handy – rep-handy@rilegislature.gov
Representative Robert B. Lancia – rep-lancia@rilegislature.gov
Representative Shelby Maldonado – rep-maldonado@rilegislature.gov
Representative Ramon A. Perez – rep-perez@rilegislature.gov
Representative Robert D. Phillips – rep-phillips@rilegislature.gov
Representative Marcia R. Ranglin-Vassell – rep-ranglin-vassell@rilegislature.gov
Representative Sherry Roberts – rep-roberts@rilegislature.gov
Representative Moira J. Walsh – rep-walsh@rilegislature.gov
Committee Secretary Lisa Cataldi – lcataldi@rilegislature.gov

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide additional updates on these bills as developments warrant.  For more information, contact AKC GR at doglaw@akc.org.

 

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