A hearing was held at the RI Statehouse Wednesday, February 14th on proposed legislation aimed at closing loopholes in current laws that the RISPCA feel are detrimental to the overall health and well-being of dogs. Part of this bill was to remove exemptions for “hunting dogs” and “sled dogs” to be kept tethered or confined longer than 10 and 14 hours respectively.

The legislation was introduced early in 2018 by Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick) and Sen. Erin Lynch Prata (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston) to close these loopholes in the law.

The bill presented last night (2/14/18) can be read in its entirety HERE. 

While the RISPCA certainly appreciates the intent behind this bill and offers its support, we feel this bill would not accomplish its intended goal as currently written. We, therefore, offered our assistance in drafting alternative language to do so.

The RISPCA requested that language be added to the bill that clarifies legally defined statutes for “Adequate Shelter”, weight allowed for any chain or tether, and language that would not allow ANY person to confine a dog outdoors for than 15 minutes in inclement weather (among others).

Our alternative language can be viewed in its entirety HERE.

(Please note: Sections in BLUE and GREEN have been added by the RISPCA and its partners. Any sections with a line through them or in RED, were asked to be removed by the RISPCA and it’s partners.)

The committee appeared very receptive to the changes in language the RISPCA presented and we do hope that these suggestions will be added to the bill when it is voted upon. We will keep you updated and encourage you to speak with your representatives to help us in support both the bill and the changes offered to the committee by the RISPCA.

“We speak for those who cannot speak for themselves”