Rhode Island HB 7630 has been scheduled for a date to be heard by the first committee. The House Committee on Municipal Government is set to hear the bill on March 20th.
The bill would allow the city of Warwick to re-institute their breed discriminatory mandatory spay/neuter law. The old ordinance was voided when the Rhode Island legislature passed a law that made breed discriminatory laws illegal in the state.
This bill follows on the heels of another bill, by the same sponsors, which had attempted to alter state law to allow any town to pass a breed discriminatory mandatory spay/neuter law. That bill was tabled for further study. The legislators then submitted HB 7630.
The bill’s sponsors are representatives of Warwick.
Warwick’s old law was a prohibition on owning a targeted dog unless it was altered, or the person had a license for breeding issued by the director on the local animal shelter. Targeted dogs included American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, “or a dog that is a mix of the two breeds.”
Warwick animal control currently does a fantastic job of out reach. They work with owners to provide low-cost services and to educate owners on the issue of spay/neuter. This out reach is what is responsible for their effective population control, not the old law.
It has been proven time and time again that the solution to over population issues is effective out reach and community solutions. These programs are responsible for the decrease in population and increase in positive outcomes for animals. Many places do not have breed discriminatory mandatory spay/neuter laws, but they do have community out reach and education, and they still see the same results.
With the programs and out reach being done in the community, there is no reason for a law that would penalize people based on the appearance of their dog. This is aside from the issue that these laws have the exact opposite effects of their intentions. Communicating to underserved areas and providing resources does so much more for everyone.
Rhode Island residents:
Please reach out to the members of the committee and ask them to oppose this bill. The state law was passed for a reason, and to allow a single town exemption via a bill is counter to the intent of the state law. The rights of all residents of the state of Rhode Island deserve the same consideration.
Residents of Warwick, especially, should reach out to their representatives to oppose this bill.
Committee on Municipal Government:
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