The Rhode Island SPCA has been an advocate for the well-being of all creatures great and small since 1870. One of our mission objectives is to protect the safety of all animals in our state. As the only humane society in the state of RI with state wide animal cruelty investigative powers we see much of what others do not. This has enabled us to work closely with elected officials in drafting animal cruelty laws.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), The premiere legal organization for animals, released its 14th Annual year-end report (2019) ranking the animal protection laws of all 50 states. Rhode Island has been ranked as the 5th BEST STATE in 2019 with animal protection laws in the United States. This is an honor all of us should be very proud of. Much credit goes to the citizens of RI whose voices were heard by elected officials who took action.

Here are some of Rhode Island’s accomplishments from 2019:

  • Expanded family court jurisdiction to enter protective orders to provide for the safety and welfare of household pets in domestic abuse situations.
  • Bonding/Pre-conviction forfeiture law to aid in the quick disposition of animals seized during animal cruelty investigations and to provide the seizing agency with financial reimbursement for cost of care.
  • Greater restrictions on where Rhode Island Pet Shops source their dogs and cats for sale.
  • Greater protections for public safety canines and horses.

Title 4 of Rhode Island General Law covers laws relating to animal husbandry and animal cruelty. Laws pertaining to animal cruelty can be found here.