AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) issued a recent alert encouraging Rhode Island residents to strongly oppose H. 7678, which seeks to create court-appointed legal advocates for animals. Many of you submitted testimony in opposition (uploaded here) for consideration by the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, March 10, 2022. AKC GR greatly appreciates your strong advocacy efforts!
At this time, the committee has held H. 7678 for further study. This is a routine procedure. The formal session of the Rhode Island General Assembly continues through June 30, 2022. Legislation may advance at any time.
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”. 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.