Category Archives: Rhode Island

Rhode Island HB 7630 to allow Warwick to enact breed discriminatory law set for hearing

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:

rep-ogrady@rilin.state.ri.us,  rep-newberry@rilin.state.ri.us,   rep-marshall@rilin.state.ri.us,  rep-lima@rilin.state.ri.us, rep-kazarian@rilin.state.ri.us, rep-johnston@rilin.state.ri.us, rep-hearn@rilin.state.ri.us,  rep-desimone@rilin.state.ri.us,  rep-costantino@rilin.state.ri.us,   rep-bennett@rilin.state.ri.us,  rep-amore@rilin.state.ri.us,  rep-ackerman@rilin.state.ri.us

Rhode Island HB 7630 would allow a single town to enact a breed discriminatory law

A bill has been introduced in the Rhode Island state legislature that would amend the current state law that prohibits breed discriminatory laws.

The bill was introduced to allow the city of Warwick to enact a breed discriminatory spay/neuter law.

HB 7630 would add the following language to current state law that prohibits breed discriminatory laws.  Breed discriminatory laws would be prohibited  “…except in those instances where the rule, regulation or ordinance pertains to spaying or neutering of pit bulls and staffordshire bull terriers located in the city of Warwick, and provided such rule, regulation or ordinance shall not apply to licensed breeders of such dogs.”

When the current state law that prohibited breed discriminatory laws was passed, it was unclear what the intention of the bill was, regarding existing ordinances in the text of the bill.  The bills sponsors, however stated very clearly that they intended it to apply retroactively.  Pawtucket took issue with the law, saying that their existing breed discriminatory ordinance should be allowed to stay.  Warwick was another town that had an existing breed discriminatory law.

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.”

It appears that Pawtucket is going the way of litigation in an attempt to keep their old law, but Warwick is attempting to get this specific legislative exemption.

The amending of a state law to allow one town an exemption is bizarre, to say the least.  The bills sponsor has already said that the bill was intended to act retroactively, and this is Warwick’s attempt at being about to keep their old breed discriminatory law.  Four of the 5 sponsors of the bills are located in Warwick, the fifth is from Providence.  Clearly city officials are asking for this from their representatives.

The bill has been assigned to the House Municipal Government Committee.

Warwick residents should reach out to their representative and ask them to pull the bill.  Be factual and polite, we have years of the failure of such laws to back up the opposition.

Rhode Island residents:  Please reach out to the committee, particularly if one of the members of the committee is your specific representative.  The state law was passed to protect the property rights of all residents of Rhode Island, not those residents who don’t live in Warwick.

rep-ackerman@rilin.state.ri.us
rep-amore@rilin.state.ri.us
rep-bennett@rilin.state.ri.us
rep-costantino@rilin.state.ri.us
rep-desimone@rilin.state.ri.us
rep-hearn@rilin.state.ri.us
rep-johnston@rilin.state.ri.us
rep-kazarian@rilin.state.ri.us
rep-lima@rilin.state.ri.us
rep-marshall@rilin.state.ri.us
rep-newberry@rilin.state.ri.us
rep-ogrady@rilin.state.ri.us

Rhode Island HB5671, the bill to outlaw breed discrimination passes full Senate

UPDATED:  7/16/2013:  The Governor has signed this bill into law. Rhode Island now prohibits breed discriminatory laws on the state level.

 

Rhode Island HB5671 was passed by the full Senate today with a vote of 21-6.

The bill has moved along very quickly after an initial stall out of the gate.  Introduced in late February, the bill was held for study by the House committee.  The House committee passed the bill on June 20th and in 13 days the bill moved from the first step to the last.

There was opposition to this bill from the legislators in municipalities that have breed discriminatory laws in place, as well as some legislators who were undecided and abstained from voting.

Most notably, legislators from Pawtucket have been in the news speaking out against the bill.  They expressed concerns that this bill would make their communities unsafe and had attempted to mount an e-mail campaign to oppose HB5671.  What this bill will do is make sure that all responsible citizens have their rights intact, and make municipalities address the real cause of dangerous dogs of any kind, reckless and negligent dog owners.  Officials have said in news accounts that, if passed, they will abide by the new law but it remains to be seen if they will comply willingly.

It does appear that the bill will not allow places with existing breed discriminatory laws to keep them.  According to sources, Pawtucket attempted to get grandfathered in during the Senate committee but was not successful.

The bill must be enrolled before it gets to the Governors desk.  After enrollment HB5671 will move to Governor Lincoln D. Chafee’s desk to be signed into law.

After being signed into law, Rhode Island will become the 16th state to outlaw breed discriminatory laws on the state level.

Please take a moment to reach out to the Governor to politely and briefly ask that he sign HB5671 into law.  Remember to put “Support HB5671″ in the subject line so they topic may be easily accessed.

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee: governor@governor.ri.gov

Please also take a moment to write to the bills sponsor and co-sponsors and thank them for all the hard work they put into this bills passage.

Sponsor: Rep. Thomas Palangio:rep-palangio@rilin.state.ri.us

Co-sponsors:
Rep. Charlene Lima: rep-lima@rilin.state.ri.us
Rep. Anastasia Williams :rep-williams@rilin.state.ri.us
Rep. John DeSimone: rep-desimone@rilin.state.ri.us
Rep. Peter Palumbo :rep-palumbo@rilin.state.ri.us

Thank you Melissa and Dennis.

Rhode Island HB5671 assigned to committee

The Rhode Island bill to prohibit breed discriminatory laws on the state level has officially been assigned to committee.

Initial information was that the bill was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.  A last-minute change, however, puts the bill in the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture.  This Committee will be meeting next on Monday July 1st, and it is very possible that HB5671 could be heard then.

When writing please put Support HB5671 in the subject line so legislators can see the support without having to read all of the e-mails.

There is opposition coming out of the places that have breed discriminatory laws, most notably Pawtucket,  so the more support offered, the better.  Officials from Pawtucket have done several interviews in opposition to the bill, and we can be sure they are also talking to legislators in opposition.  In the House vote those legislators who voted against this bill were from these areas.

The contact info for this committee is below:

Chairman: sen-sosnowski@rilin.state.ri.us

sen-archambault@rilin.state.ri.us
sen-bates@rilin.state.ri.us
sen-conley@rilin.state.ri.us
sen-coolrumsey@rilin.state.ri.us
sen-goldin@rilin.state.ri.us
sen-goodwin@rilin.state.ri.us
sen-kettle@rilin.state.ri.us
sen-walaska@rilin.state.ri.us

Rhode Island HB5671 to prohibit breed discriminatory laws advances to Senate

Today Rhode Island HB5671 passed the full House with a vote of 59-9.

The bill, which would prohibit any municipality from enacting a breed discriminatory law, was initially recommended to be held for further study by the House Committee.  The bill was held for over a month but was subsequently passed unanimously out of Committee. A little over a week later the bill passed the full House.

HB5671 now moves onto the Senate side, beginning with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sources inside Rhode Island have stated that more support is needed to push this bill through the Senate.  The legislative session in Rhode Island ends soon.  Legislators have been tallying supportive e-mails so it is imperative that everyone reach out and express support for this bill.

Below is the contact information for the committee.  Please remember to use the cc or bcc function when copying the e-mail addresses.  Despite sources knowing a large number of people who wrote in support of this bill, many of the legislators have said they have not received a lot of correspondence about it.  E-mails with many addresses in the “to” line are usually bounced into spam boxes, so dividing the addresses is extremely important to making sure they are received by legislators.

When writing include “Support HB5671″ in the subject line so that those who are going through the e-mails do not have to read the entire thing to know what it is about.  This will make any “at a glance” tallying easier and more effective.

Committee Chairman: sen-mccaffrey@rilin.state.ri.us

sen-archambault@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-conley@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-hodgson@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-jabour@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-lombardi@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-lynch@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-metts@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-nesselbush@rilin.state.ri.us, sen-raptakis@rilin.state.ri.us

Rhode Island HB5671 advances to full House

The Rhode Island bill to prohibit breed discrimination on the state level has passed committee today.  It now moves on to a vote in the full House.

HB5671 will include language saying that “no city or town may enact, and rule, regulation or ordinance specific to any breed of dog or cat in the exercise of its power to further control or regulate dogs, cats or other animals as authorized by this chapter”  in both the section regulating vicious dogs and the general dog law section of state statutes.

The bill will take effect upon passage.  The language is very clear and simple, which is always a good thing in legislation.  The clearer the law the better it is for the citizens.

It is incredibly important to reach out and urge your legislators to support this bill because the legislative session ends on the 30th of June.

Rhode Island residents: Please reach out now and urge legislators to support this bill.  You can find your specific legislator here.  You must put your zip code into the search function on the top of the page.  Look for your Representatives and Senators to contact both so that they will know their constituents support HB5671.

Rhode Island HB5671, a bill to prohibit breed discriminatory laws set for committee

Rhode Island legislators are looking at a bill that would prohibit municipalities in the state of Rhode Island from enacting breed discriminatory laws. HB5671 would amend the current laws to include a section that states:

“No city or town may enact any rule, regulation or ordinance specific to any breed of dog, cat or other animal in the exercise of its power to further control and regulate dogs, cats or other animals as authorized by this chapter.”

This bill is coming fresh on the heels of another bill that was introduced that would have restricted certain breeds of dogs and dogs that resemble those breeds. That bill was pulled very quickly because of the huge out pouring of opposition to breed discrimination.

Legislators will have this in their minds as they hear this bill, but it is extremely important that Rhode Island residents reach out to their legislators to ask them to support this bill.

The bill is on the House agenda for Thursday May 9th at approximately 4:30.

Rhode Island Residents: Please reach out to the members of the committee to show support for HB5671. As always, be professional, polite and factual.

The committees information:

Representative Edith H. Ajello: rep-ajello@rilin.state.ri.us
Representative Joseph S. Almeida: rep-almeida@rilin.state.ri.us
Representative Christopher R. Blazejewski: rep-blazejewski@rilin.state.ri.us
Representative Dennis M. Canario: rep-canario@rilin.state.ri.us
Representative Doreen Marie Costa: rep-costa@rilin.state.ri.us
Representative Robert E. Craven, Sr.: rep-craven@rilin.state.ri.us
Representative John J. DeSimone: rep-desimone@rilin.state.ri.us
Representative Donald J. Lally Jr.: rep-lally@rilin.state.ri.us
Representative Charlene Lima: rep-lima@rilin.state.ri.us
Representative Michael J. Marcello: rep-marcello@rilin.state.ri.us
Representative Peter F. Martin: rep-martin@rilin.state.ri.us
Representative K. Joseph Shekarchi: rep-shekarchi@rilin.state.ri.us
Representative Donna M. Walsh: rep-walsh@rilin.state.ri.us

You can find your respective legislators here. Enter your zip code into the search bar to find who represents you.

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Thank you Rhode Island Defenders of Animals for the information.