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Rhode Island Alert: Resolution Mandates Study on Statewide Spay/Neuter

House Resolution 8376, a simple resolution (i.e., one that was passed only by one legislative chamber) creating a special legislative commission to “study the requirements for the spaying and neutering of dogs”, was introduced and passed by the Rhode Island House of Representatives in the final hours of the legislative session. While resolutions generally do not have the force of law, this resolution follows on the heels of House Bill 8205, which unsuccessfully sought to restrict, with limited exception, all Rhode Island dog owners from owning or harboring any dog six months of age and older that is not spayed or neutered. Both efforts were principally sponsored by Representative Thomas Palangio.

The resolution requires the special legislative commission to consist of three members of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, two “members of the American Kennel Club”, one member of the Rhode Island Branch of the American Rare Breed Association, two Rhode Island animal control officers, and one member of the Providence Animal Care and Control Center, all to be appointed by the Speaker of the House; the Director of the Defenders of Animals or a designee; and the President of the Humane Association of Northwestern Rhode Island or a designee. The commission will meet upon the direction of the Speaker of the House and is required to report its findings to the House of Representatives by February 3, 2015.

No details of the commission appointment process were available as of press time. However, members of AKC-affiliated clubs interested in serving on this special legislative commission are encouraged to contact AKC Government Relations at 919-816-3720, or email doglaw@akc.org. AKC-GR also urges all Rhode Island dog breeders and owners to prepare for the possible re-introduction of mandatory spay/neuter legislation in 2015 by beginning to make contact with your state legislators now. Find contact information for your state senator and representative via the Rhode Island Voter Information Center. Read AKC-GR’s Make Your Contact Count for tips to use when contacting your elected officials.

AKC GR will provide updates on spay/neuter commission as it becomes available.

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