Rhode Island bill would allow towns to reinstate breed discriminatory laws

Officials in Pawtucket, Rhode Island are once again trying to make it so they are allowed to retain their breed ban.

The ban was nullified by the recently passed state law prohibiting breed discriminatory laws.  When the state law was passed, officials claimed the law did not nullify existing ordinances.  Pawtucket was then sued by the Defenders of Animals and Albert Alix.  A judge found that Pawtucket did not have the right to retain the ban and the state law supersedes all existing breed discriminatory laws.  Pawtucket officials had time to appeal this decision.  They did not appeal.

Instead, they are attempting to get their breed ban back legislatively.

A bill, H 5800, would amend the state’s animal control law that prohibits breed discriminatory laws.  The amendment would allow cities that had such a law before July 15, 2013, to keep them intact.

6 (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, any rule, regulation 7 or ordinance specific to any breed of dog or cat enacted in any city or town prior to July 15, 2013, 8 shall remain in full force and effect until repealed by the appropriate officials of the city or town.

This bill has been referred to the House Committee on Municipal Government and has not yet been scheduled for a hearing date.

Pawtucket had their chance when the bill was being heard and again, during the court case.  The courts have ruled and this bill is a last-ditch attempt at being able to defy the order the judge.

This would not only affect Pawtucket, but would also allow any other town to re-instate their breed discriminatory law.


Reach out to the committee and respectfully ask that they do not support this bill.

The Defenders of Animals are collecting a legal paper petition in opposition to this bill.  Defenders of Animals will be at the Pet Supplies Plus at 171 Sockanosset Cross Rd Cranston, RI 02920 on Sunday March 8, 2015, between 12 Noon and 4 PM collecting signatures.  People in the area who can attend to sign should do so.

It is imperative that you reach out now, so this bill does not move forward.

The committee contact information is as follows:

 Representative Mia A. Ackerman: rep-ackerman@rilin.state.ri.us

 Representative Gregg Amore: rep-amore@rilin.state.ri.us

 Representative Jean-Phillipe Barros: rep-barros@rilin.state.ri.us

 Representative David A. Bennett: rep-bennett@rilin.state.ri.us

 Representative Gregory J. Costantino: rep-costantino@rilin.state.ri.us

 Representative David A. Coughlin, Jr.: rep-coughlin@rilin.state.ri.us

 Representative Robert E. Craven, Sr.: rep-craven@rilin.state.ri.us

 Representative Blake A. Filippi: rep-filippi@rilin.state.ri.us

 Representative Kathleen A. Fogarty: rep-fogarty@rilin.state.ri.us

 Representative Joy Hearn: rep-hearn@rilin.state.ri.us

 Representative Raymond H. Johnston, Jr.: rep-johnston@rilin.state.ri.us

 Representative Charlene Lima: rep-lima@rilin.state.ri.us

 Representative Shelby Maldonado: rep-maldonado@rilin.state.ri.us

 Representative Kenneth A. Marshall:  rep-marshall@rilin.state.ri.us

 Representative Justin Price:  rep-price@rilin.state.ri.us


4 responses to “Rhode Island bill would allow towns to reinstate breed discriminatory laws

  1. Anita Pimental

    Please don’t allow this to happen. I own 3 pit bulls, they are great loving family dogs. Don’t punish everyone because of a few bad owners.

  2. Michele Jordan

    When will people learn, it is NOT the dog (breed does not matter) it is the Human that holds or rather doesn’t hold the leash that trains the dog to fight!!!! I hear it now those of you saying I’ve heard this all before PIT BULLS are DANGEROUS!!!! No matter what they all need to be destroyed. Those of you that say this are just plain misinformed about this breed of dog or any breed of dog for that matter. President Roosevelt’s era the pit bull was known as the Nanny dog. You could find this breed in almost every neighborhood. Petey from Our Gang was a pit bull. You Nay sayers say That was a different time. Your are right people didn’t know about the dog fighting back then, they kept it a better secret. Now a days you have celebrity football stars like Michael Vick who had so much money he had to have more and decided he wanted to be in the vicious and illegal and I might add torturous sport of dog fighting. He would probably still be in it if not for the fact that he got caught! The dogs he fought were only doing what Michael Vick TAUGHT them to do! This is a undeniable fact. Some of MICHAEL VICK’S dogs were sent to a shelter in Utah where they were retrained and even some became THERAPY dogs. Do your home people before you BAN a BREED of dog out of your own sheer ignorance of the breed. And fear that something MIGHT happen. That’s the future and the future has not happened yet. You are leading out of fear instead of out of intelligence. I was under the impression that men and women that were voted into political office of any kind were suppose to be on the higher side of the I.Q. scale. Was I wrong in my thinking????? By the way I have one rescued pit bull mix male. Rescued from a terror which I believe someone was going to use him as a fighting dog. I got to him in time. He was approx 2/3yrs old when I rescued him. I’ve had him 3yrs now I’ve trusted him around my grandbabies and all others that have come onto my home.I saved his life and I believe he knows it. I also had another breed that brings terror into peoples hearts, I had a German Rottweiler for 16yrs until his passing. He was the most gentle soul you’d ever come face to face with. So ladies and gentlemen of Pawtucket before banning a BREED of any kind of dog do your homework. Make sure the people that own any breed of dog do their homework too before acquiring any powerful breed of dog.Thank you.

  3. Paula Proctor

    It’s not the dog, it’s the owner. If the owner can not control their dog, what ever breed it is, that dog (or cat) should be removed, rehabilitated and adopted to a responsible owner.
    There are many many responsible loving pet owners.
    You can not punish everyone by a few bad owners. Punish the bad owners instead.