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Earlier this week, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) posted changes  to the state’s proposed animal health regulations for dogs temporarily imported into the state for shows.  The changes clarify animal description requirements and allow veterinarians to be on call instead of on the show premises.  The American Kennel Club (AKC) supports these amendments, and encourages all Rhode Island clubs to express support.

In January, the Rhode Island State Veterinarian, as part of the DEM, proposed amendments to the state’s animal health regulations.  AKC applauded that proposal’s formalization of an exception for dogs temporarily imported into the state (i.e., for less than 10 days) from the certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) requirements that would otherwise be necessary.  However, AKC and our Rhode Island clubs also expressed concerns with that proposal’s requirement that color be one of the mandatory animal descriptions required to be reported, and that veterinarians would be required to be on site for part of the event at great costs to show-hosting  clubs.  Click here to read AKC’s January comments to State Veterinarian Dr. Scott Marshall.

To simplify the regulatory process and enshrine the CVI exception for dogs temporarily imported for shows, DEM adopted the proposed regulations with a promise to quickly address the remaining issues.  Facilitated by AKC Government Relations (AKC GR), Dr. Marshall worked with Rhode Island clubs to craft amendments addressing potentially onerous impacts while still protecting the public’s health.  That collaboration resulted in this week’s posted direct final amendments.

The posted  amendments include:

  • Removing color as a required description of competing dogs to be reported upon request of the State Veterinarian within one year after an event.  Instead, official ID numbers, microchip numbers, or registration numbers may be reported.  This will allow clubs to supply event entry information, as readily reported in an event catalog, to the State Veterinarian when requested.
  • Allowing event-giving clubs the ability to have a veterinarian on call instead of on site.  This will ensure that veterinary services will be available as necessary and that clubs will not be forced to incur the significant costs of paying for a veterinarian to be on site.
  • Reducing from 60 to 14 the number of days before an event that a “responsible party” must notify the State Veterinarian of the event, including the number of animals expected to attend.  In the case of conformation shows, this will allow clubs to rely on event entries to calculate a reasonable estimate of the expected number of animals.

Representatives of AKC-affiliated clubs in Rhode Island are strongly encouraged to contact State Veterinarian Dr. Scott Marshall to thank him for his consideration of their concerns and express support of the amendments to the state’s animal health rules.  Dr. Marshall may be contacted at

AKC GR thanks Dr. Marshall for his willingness to work with both AKC and Rhode Island dog clubs to ensure that both public and animal health will continue to be protected through appropriate regulation while not onerously impacting affiliated clubs’ operations.

For more information on this or other New England legislative and regulatory proposals, contact Stacey Ober, AKC GR’s Legislative Analyst for New England, at