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CALL TO ACTION
U.S. Anti-Tethering Legislation By State

The State of Rhode Island is Currently Lobbying for
Laws Against Tethering Dogs for Life:

Rhode Island Residents:

RI tethering bill, FYI
Bill key: 2011 RI S 140
Version: Introduced
Version date: 02/03/2011
Author: Tassoni


The bill:
http://www.rilin.state.ri.us//BillText11/SenateText11/S0140.pdf
Find your legislators:
http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/email/repemaillistdistrict.asp

2011 -- SO140

STATE OF RHODE ISLAND

IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY

JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2011

____________
Rhode Island 2011-2012 Legislative Session

Introduced By: Senators Tassoni, Lombardo, Doyle, Perry, and DeVall

Date Introduced: February 03, 2011

Referred To: Senate Environment & Agriculture

 

EXPLANATION

BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
OF
AN ACT
RELATING TO ANIMALS AND ANIMAL HUSBANDRY - DOGS
This act would provide guidelines and penalties for any person that keeps a
dog outside tethered, penned, caged, fenced or otherwise confined without
adequate shelter from the elements and would add definitions of "proper food",
"proper water" and "proper veterinary care" to the chapter on cruelty to
animals.
This act would take effect upon passage.

AN ACT RELATING TO ANIMALS AND ANIMAL HUSBANDRY - DOGS

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 4-13-1.2 of the General Laws in Chapter 4-13 entitled
"Dogs" is hereby amended to read as follows:

4-13-1.2. Definitions. -- (1) "Board" means the rabies control board.

(2) "Department" means the department of environmental management or its
successor.

(3) "Director" means the director of the department of environmental
management (or its successor) or his or her designee.

(4) "Division" means the division of agriculture.

(5) "Livestock" means domesticated animals which are commonly held in
moderate contact with humans which include, but are not limited to, cattle,
bison, equines, sheep, goats, llamas, and swine.

(6) "Owner keeper" means any person or agency keeping, harboring or having
charge or control of or responsibility for control of an animal or any person
or agency which permits any dog, cat, ferret, or domestic animal to habitually
be fed within that person's yard or premises. This term shall not apply to
veterinary facilities, any licensed boarding kennel, municipal pound, pet shop,
or animal shelter.

(7) "Person" means an individual, firm, joint stock company, partnership,
association, private or municipal corporation, trust, estate, state,
commission, political subdivision, any interstate body, the federal government
or any agency or subdivision of the federal government, other government
entity, or other legal entity.

(8) "Pets" means domesticated animals kept in close contact with humans,
which include, but may not be limited to dogs, cats, ferrets, equines, llamas,
goats, sheep, and swine.

(9) "Quarantine" means the removal, isolation, the close confinement or
related measures of an animal under conditions and for time periods that are
set by regulation of the board.

(10) "Guardian" shall mean a person(s) having the same rights and
responsibilities of an owner, keeper and both terms shall be used
interchangeably. A guardian shall also mean a person who possesses, has title
to or an interest in, harbors or has control, custody or possession of an
animal and who is responsible for an animal's safety and well-being.

(11) "Tether" means the practice of fastening a dog to a stationary
object or stake by a chain, rope or other tethering device as a means of
keeping the animal under control. The term tether does not refer to the periods
when an animal is walked on a leash.

(12) "Outdoor housing facility" means a structure that is the proper
size for the dog, impervious to moisture, has protection from the direct rays
of the sun, and has a wind break at the entrance. This includes, but is not
limited to, dog houses, barns, garages and sheds.

(13) "Person having charge" means the owner, guardian, possessor or
keeper of the dog.

SECTION 2. Chapter 4-13 of the General Laws entitled "Dogs" is hereby
amended by adding thereto the following section:

4-13-13.1. Sheltering, tethering and nourishment of dogs. --
(a) It shall be a violation of this section for a person having charge to:

(1) Keep any dog outside, tethered, penned, caged, fenced or otherwise
confined for more than one hour without access to an outdoor housing facility
unless the person having charge is outside with the dog.

(2) Keep any dog outside either tethered, penned, caged, fenced or
otherwise confined without access to an outdoor housing facility when the
ambient temperature is beyond the industry standard for the weather safety
scale as set forth in the most recent adopted version of the Tufts Animal Care
and Condition Weather Safety Scale if the dog is showing signs of poor health
due to the weather conditions.

(3) Keep any dog on a permanent tether less than six feet (6') long.

(4) Tether a dog with a choke-type collar or prong-type collar.

(5) Keep any dog tethered for more than ten (10) hours during a
twenty-four (24) hour period or keep any dog confined in a pen, cage or other
outdoor housing structure for more than fourteen (14) hours during any
twenty-four (24) hour period.

(6) Fail to provide proper food, proper water, or proper veterinary
care as defined in section 4-1-1.

(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply: (1) If the
tethering or confinement is authorized for medical reasons in writing by a
veterinarian licensed in Rhode Island which must be renewed annually and an
outdoor housing facility is provided; or (2) if such tethering or confinement
is authorized in writing by an animal control officer: or (3) to a training
facility, grooming facility, commercial boarding kennel, pet shop licensed in
accordance with chapter 4- 19, animal shelter, municipal pound or veterinary
facility.

(c) Any person in violation of this section shall be given a warning
for a first violation. Second and subsequent violations of this subsection can
be considered a violation of section 4-1- 2.

(d) The Rhode Island Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals
(RISPCA) and animal control officers are hereby authorized to enforce the
aforementioned as provided in this title furthermore the (RISPCA) and animal
control officers are hereby authorized and empowered to examine the dog and to
enter upon those grounds or premises for enforcement of the provisions of this
section.

SECTION 3. Section 4-1-1 of the General Laws in Chapter 4-1 entitled
"Cruelty to Animals" is hereby amended to read as follows:

4-1-1. Definitions -- Responsibility for agents and employees. -- (a) In
this chapter and in sections 4-4-9, 4-4-10, and 23-19-8:

(1) "Animal" and "animals" means every living creature except a human
being;

(2) "Licensed graduate veterinarian" or "veterinarian" means a person
licensed to engage in the practice of veterinary medicine, surgery, and
dentistry in this state who is a graduate of an accredited veterinary medical,
surgical, and dental school or college of a standard recognized by the Rhode
Island veterinary medical association; and

(3) "Owner", "person", and "whoever" means corporations as well as
individuals.

(4) "Guardian" shall mean means a person(s) having the same
rights and responsibilities of an owner, and both terms shall be used
interchangeably. A guardian shall also mean a person who possesses, has title
to or an interest in, harbors or has control, custody or possession of an
animal and who is responsible for an animal's safety and well-being.

(5) "Proper food" means access to a sufficient quality and quantity of
wholesome foodstuff suitable for that species that will allow for normal growth
and maintenance of the animal's body weight and body condition. Wholesome
foodstuff is food intended for that species of animal or food that is accepted
for that species of animal under acceptable animal husbandry practices. The
interval between feeding shall not be more than twenty-four (24) hours.

(6) "Proper water" means access to clean, fresh, drinkable potable
water sufficient to maintain the health of the animal not to exceed twelve (12)
hours at any interval.

(7) "Proper veterinary care" means providing each animal that is
suffering from an illness, injury or medical condition with veterinary care
sufficient to prevent unnecessary or unjustified physical pain or suffering by
the animal; provided, that nothing herein shall be construed to prevent an
owner from treating an animal using acceptable animal husbandry practices.

(8) "Shelter for a dog" means a structure, doghouse of the appropriate
size for the breed and size of the dog or other adequate protection from
inclement weather, as required to maintain the dog in a state of good health,
and prevent unnecessary or unjustified suffering of the dog.

(b) An owner who allows an animal to become emaciated due to a
malabsorption problem, disease, parasitic infestation or any illness or chronic
illness when the animal is not under the direct and continued care of a
veterinarian for those problems shall be as guilty as an owner who does not
provide proper food.

(b) (c) The knowledge and acts of agents of and persons
employed by corporations in regard to animals transported, owned or employed by
or in the custody of that corporation are held to be the acts and knowledge of
that corporation.

SECTION 4. This act shall take effect upon passage.