Chapter 142

2011 -- S 0919

Enacted 06/29/11

 

A N A C T

RELATING TO ANIMALS AND ANIMAL HUSBANDRY

          

     Introduced By: Senator Francis T. Maher

     Date Introduced: April 28, 2011

     

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

 

     SECTION 1. Sections 4-13-1 and 4-13-15 of the General Laws in Chapter 4-13 entitled

"Dogs" are hereby amended to read as follows:

 

     4-13-1. Regulatory ordinances -- Enforcement and penalties. -- (a) City or town

councils may make any ordinances concerning dogs in their cities or towns as they deem

expedient, to be enforced by the destruction or disposition of the animal, or by pecuniary

penalties not exceeding ten dollars ($10.00) for the first offense, not exceeding fifteen dollars

($15.00) for the second offense within a year, not exceeding twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the

third and any subsequent offense within a year to be recovered by action of debt, or by complaint

and warrant, to use as that city council or town council may prescribe.

      (b) (1) Barrington town council is authorized to enact an ordinance:

      (i) Permitting the animal control officer in the town to issue citations to the owners of

dogs for violation of any animal control ordinance which may be paid by mail and;

      (ii) To prescribe pecuniary penalties as follows:

      (A) A fine of not more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the first offense within a

calendar year;

      (B) A fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for the second offense within a

calendar year;

      (C) A fine of not more seventy-five dollars ($75.00) for the third and each subsequent

offense within a calendar year.

      (2) (i) Bristol town council is authorized to enact an ordinance permitting the dog officer

in that town to issue citations to the owners of dogs for the violation of any dog ordinance which

may be paid by mail, and to prescribe pecuniary penalties as follows:

      (A) A fine not exceeding twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the first offense within a

calendar year;

      (B) A fine not exceeding fifty dollars ($50.00) for the second offense within a calendar

year;

      (C) A fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) for the third and each subsequent

offense within a calendar year.

      (ii) The Bristol town council may by ordinance prescribe the number of licensed dogs

and their breeds which may be kept at any single-family residence other than a breeding kennel

licensed under section 4-13-10, and may enforce those ordinances by pecuniary penalties not

exceeding two hundred fifty dollars ($250).

      (3) Coventry town council is authorized to enact ordinances permitting the dog officer in

the town to issue citations to the owners of dogs for the violation of any dog ordinance which

may be paid by mail.

      (4) (i) Cumberland town council may prescribe pecuniary penalties as follows:

      (A) A fine not exceeding twenty dollars ($20.00) for the first offense within a calendar

year;

      (B) A fine not exceeding thirty dollars ($30.00) for the second offense within a calendar

year;

      (C) A fine not exceeding fifty dollars ($50.00) for the third and each subsequent offense

within a calendar year.

      (ii) The town council of the town of Cumberland is authorized to enact an ordinance

permitting the animal control officer or any police officer in that town to issue citations to the

owners of dogs for the violation of any dog ordinance which may be paid by mail.

      (iii) The town council of the town of Cumberland is authorized to enact an ordinance

establishing the expense of the impoundment of dogs as determined by the town council and

providing for the payment to the town of the impoundment expense by the dog owner prior to

removal of the dog from the pound.

      (5) Glocester town council is authorized to enact an ordinance to prescribe pecuniary

penalties as follows:

      (i) A fine not more than twenty dollars ($20.00) for the first offense within a calendar

year;

      (ii) A fine not more than thirty dollars ($30.00) for the second offense within a calendar

year;

      (iii) A fine not more than thirty-five dollars ($35.00) for the third offense and each

subsequent offense within a calendar year.

      (6) Jamestown town council may prescribe pecuniary penalties as follows:

      (i) A fine not exceeding twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the first offense within a

calendar year;

      (ii) A fine not exceeding fifty dollars ($50.00) for the second offense within a calendar

year;

      (iii) A fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) for the third and each subsequent

offense within a calendar year.

      (7) (i) Middletown may prescribe pecuniary penalties as follows:

      (A) A fine not exceeding twenty dollars ($20.00) for the first offense within a calendar

year;

      (B) A fine not exceeding thirty dollars ($30.00) for the second offense within a calendar

year;

      (C) A fine not exceeding fifty dollars ($50.00) for the third and each subsequent offense

within a calendar year.

      (ii) The Middletown town council is authorized to enact an ordinance permitting the dog

officer in that town to issue citations to the owners of dogs for the violation of any dog ordinance

which may be paid by mail.

      (8) Narragansett town council is authorized to enact an ordinance:

      (i) Permitting the animal control officer in the town to issue citations to the owners of

dogs for the violation of any animal control ordinance which may be paid by mail; and

      (ii) Establishing the expense of the impoundment of dogs as determined by the town

council and providing for the payment to the town of the impoundment expense by the dog owner

prior to removal of the dog from the pound; and

      (iii) Prescribing pecuniary penalties as follows:

      (A) A fine of not more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the first offense within a

calendar year;

      (B) A fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for the second offense within a

calendar year;

      (C) A fine of not more than seventy-five dollars ($75.00) for the third and each

subsequent offense within a calendar year.

      (9) Newport city council is authorized to enact an ordinance:

      (i) Permitting the animal control officer, and his or her agents, in that city to issue

citations to the owners of dogs for violation of any animal control ordinance which may be paid

by mail;

      (ii) To prescribe pecuniary penalties as follows:

      (A) A fine of not more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the first offense within a

calendar year;

      (B) A fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for the second offense within a

calendar year;

      (C) A fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) for the third and each subsequent

offense within a calendar year.

      (10) North Providence town council is authorized to enact an ordinance permitting the

animal control officer in that town to issue citations to the owners of dogs for the violation of any

dog ordinance which may be paid by mail.

      (11) (i) Portsmouth may prescribe pecuniary penalties as follows:

      (A) A fine not exceeding twenty dollars ($20.00) for the first offense within a calendar

year;

      (B) A fine not exceeding thirty dollars ($30.00) for the second offense within a calendar

year;

      (C) A fine not exceeding fifty dollars ($50.00) for the third and each subsequent offense

within a calendar year.

      (ii) The Portsmouth town council is authorized to enact an ordinance permitting the dog

officer in that town to issue citations to the owners of dogs for the violation of any dog ordinance

which may be paid by mail.

      (iii) The Portsmouth town council may, by ordinance, prescribe the number of licensed

dogs which may be kept at any single family residence other than a breeding kennel licensed

under section 4-13-10 and may enforce those ordinances by pecuniary penalties not exceeding

twenty-five dollars ($25.00).

      (12) Richmond town council may prescribe pecuniary penalties as follows: The

Richmond town council is authorized to enact ordinances:

     (i) A fine not exceeding ten dollars ($10.00) for the first offense within one year;

     (ii) A fine not exceeding twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the second offense within one

year of the first offense;

     (iii) A fine not exceeding fifty dollars ($50.00) for the third and each subsequent offense

within one year of the first offense.

     (i) Establishing the following penalties for animal control offenses:

     (A) A fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for the first offense within one year;

     (B) A fine of not more than seventy-five dollars ($75.00) for the second offense within

one year of the first offense;

     (C) A fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) for the third and each subsequent

offense within one year of the first offense.

     (ii) Permitting the animal control officer or any police officer to issue citations for

violation of any animal control ordinance punishable by a fine of five hundred dollars ($500) or

less, and to provide for payment of those fines by mail.

      (13) (i) Scituate town council may prescribe pecuniary penalties as follows:

      (A) A fine not exceeding twenty dollars ($20.00) for the first offense within a calendar

year;

      (B) A fine not exceeding thirty dollars ($30.00) for the second offense within a calendar

year;

      (C) A fine not exceeding fifty dollars ($50.00) for the third and each subsequent offense

within a calendar year.

      (ii) Scituate town council is authorized to enact ordinances permitting the dog officer in

the town to issue citations to the owners of dogs for the violation of any dog ordinance which

may be paid by mail.

      (14) (i) Smithfield town council may prescribe pecuniary penalties as follows:

      (A) A fine not exceeding twenty dollars ($20.00) for the first offense within a calendar

year;

      (B) A fine not exceeding thirty dollars ($30.00) for the second offense within a calendar

year;

      (C) A fine not exceeding fifty dollars ($50.00) for the third and each subsequent offense

within a calendar year.

      (ii) The Smithfield town council is authorized to enact an ordinance permitting the

animal control warden in the town to issue citations which may be paid by mail to the owners of

dogs for the violation of any dog ordinance in that town.

      (15) Tiverton town council may prescribe pecuniary penalties as follows:

      (i) A fine not exceeding twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the first offense;

      (ii) A fine not exceeding fifty dollars ($50.00) for the second offense;

      (iii) A fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) for the third and each subsequent

offense.

      (16) Warwick city council may prescribe pecuniary penalties as follows:

      (i) A fine not exceeding fifty dollars ($50.00) for the first offense within a calendar year;

      (ii) A fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) for the second offense within a

calendar year;

      (iii) A fine not exceeding two hundred dollars ($200) for the third and each subsequent

offense within a calendar year; and

      (iv) A fine not exceeding three hundred dollars ($300) for the fourth and each

subsequent offense within a calendar year.

      (17) Westerly town council is authorized to enact an ordinance:

      (i) Permitting the animal control officer in the town to issue citations to the owners of

dogs for the violation of any animal control ordinance which may be paid by mail; and

      (ii) Establishing the expense of the impoundment of dogs as determined by the town

council and providing for the payment to the town of the impoundment expense by the dog owner

prior to removal of the dog from the pound; and

      (iii) Prescribe pecuniary penalties as follows:

      (A) A fine of not more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the first offense within a

calendar year;

      (B) A fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for the second offense within a

calendar year;

      (C) A fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) for the third and each subsequent

offense within a calendar year.

      (18) West Greenwich town council is authorized to enact an ordinance:

      (i) Permitting the animal control officer in the town to issue citations to the owners of

dogs for the violation of any animal control ordinance which may be paid by mail; and

      (ii) Establishing the expense of the impoundment of dogs as determined by the town

council and providing for the payment to the town of the impoundment expense by the dog owner

prior to removal of the dog from the pound; and

      (iii) Prescribe pecuniary penalties as follows:

      (A) A fine of not more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the first offense within a

calendar year;

      (B) A fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for the second offense within a

calendar year;

      (C) A fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) for the third and each subsequent

offense within a calendar year.

      (19) The town council of the town of Exeter is authorized to enact any ordinance

prescribing fines and penalties, in addition to those otherwise allowed by law, as follows:

      (i) Providing a fine of up to twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the first offense;

      (ii) Providing a fine of up to one hundred dollars ($100) for the second offense; and

      (iii) Providing a fine of up to two hundred dollars ($200) for the third and for any

subsequent offenses within a one year period. In addition, the town may require proof of owners

liability insurance for a twelve (12) month period insuring against injury and damages caused by

the dog. That insurance shall be in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) and

shall name the town as a named insured for the purposes of notice.

      (20) West Warwick town council may prescribe pecuniary penalties as follows:

      (i) A fine not exceeding fifteen dollars ($15.00) for the first offense;

      (ii) A fine not exceeding fifty dollars ($50.00) for the second offense;

      (iii) A fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) for the third and each subsequent

offense.

      (21) Woonsocket city council is authorized to enact an ordinance:

      (i) Permitting the animal control office of the city to issue citations to the owners of dogs

for the violation of any animal control ordinance which may be paid by mail;

      (ii) Establishing the expense of the impoundment of dogs as determined by the city

council and providing for the payment to the city for the impoundment expense by the dog owner

prior to removal of the dog from the pound; and

      (iii) Prescribing pecuniary penalties as follows:

      (A) A fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for the first offense within a calendar

year;

      (B) A fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) for the second offense within a

calendar year;

      (C) A fine of not more than one hundred fifty dollars ($150) for the third and each

subsequent offense within a calendar year.

      (22) Pawtucket city council is authorized to prescribe pecuniary penalties directly related

to its ordinance banning the owning or keeping of pit bulls in the city as follows:

      (i) For a pit bull properly licensed according to the city ordinance;

      (A) A fine not exceeding two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for the first offense;

      (B) A fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) on a second offense;

      (C) A fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) on a third offense.

      (ii) For a pit bull that is not licensed pursuant to the exceptions in the city ordinance:

      (A) A fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) on a first offense;

      (B) A fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) on a second or subsequent

offense.

      (iii) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, Pawtucket may through its

Municipal Court impose a sentence of imprisonment not exceeding thirty (30) days in addition to

the fines in subsection (ii)(A) or (B).

      (23) (i) The Lincoln town council is authorized to prescribe pecuniary penalties as

follows:

      (A) A fine of not more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the first offense within a

calendar year;

      (B) A fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for the second offense within a

calendar year;

      (C) A fine of not more than one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125) for the third and

each subsequent offense within a calendar year.

      (ii) The Lincoln town council is authorized to enact an ordinance permitting the dog

officer and police officers in that town to issue citations to the owners of dogs for the violation of

any dog ordinance, which citation may be paid by mail.

      (24) (i) The East Providence city council is authorized to enact an ordinance permitting

the animal control officer or any police officer in that city to issue citations to persons in violation

of any animal ordinances, which may be paid by mail, and to prescribe pecuniary penalties as

follows:

      (A) A fine of not more than thirty dollars ($30.00) for the first offense within a calendar

year;

      (B) A fine of not more than sixty dollars ($60.00) for the second offense within a

calendar year;

      (C) A fine of not more than one hundred twenty dollars ($120) for the third offense

within a calendar year; and

      (D) A fine of not more than three hundred dollars ($300) for the fourth offense and any

subsequent offense within a calendar year.

      (25) (i) The Warren town council is authorized to enact an ordinance permitting the

animal control officer in the town to issue citations to the owners of animals for violation of any

animal control ordinance which may be paid by mail, and to prescribe pecuniary penalties as

follows:

      (A) A fine of not more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the first offense within a

calendar year;

      (B) A fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for the second offense within a

calendar year;

      (C) A fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) for the third and each subsequent

offense within a calendar year.

      (26) (i) The Burrillville town council is authorized to enact an ordinance:

      (A) Permitting the animal control officer in the town to issue citations to the owners of

dogs for the violation of any animal control ordinance which may be paid by mail; and

      (B) To prescribe penalties for violation of the provisions of revised general ordinances,

Town of Burrillville, Rhode Island, 2004, as amended, Chapter 4, entitled "Animals"; and

      (C) Establishing an expense not to exceed ten dollars ($10.00) for the day during which

impoundment occurs plus five dollars ($5.00) every day the animal is detained and providing for

the payment to the town of the impoundment expense by the dog owner prior to removal of the

dog from the animal control facility.

 

     4-13-15. Collaring of dogs -- Impoundment and disposition of uncollared dogs. -- (a)

Every owner or keeper of a dog shall cause the dog to wear a collar around its neck distinctly

marked with its owner's or keeper's name and with its registered number. Any person may cause

any dog not so collared to be impounded in the public pound of the town or city where the dog is

found; and if the dog is not claimed by its owner or keeper within a period of five (5) days after

the impoundment, the dog may be disposed of or destroyed. The five (5) days shall not include

any day or part of a day that the public pound is not open for a specified period of time, not to be

less than one-half (1/2) the normal hours of business, for the purpose of reclaiming any

impounded dog by its rightful owner. All periods of time shall be listed in a prominent location at

the entrance to all public pounds. The owner or keeper of any dog so impounded shall not take

the dog out of the pound until he or she has first paid to the poundkeeper the expense of keeping

the dog, that expense not to exceed two dollars ($2.00) per day and to be determined by the city

or town council in which impoundment occurs. The town council of the town of Glocester may,

by ordinance, determine an expense not to exceed ten dollars ($10.00) for each of the first five (5)

days during which this impoundment occurs plus five dollars ($5.00) every day the animal is

detained, plus an additional ten dollars ($10.00) if the owner or keeper is unable to show that the

dog has a current rabies shot pursuant to section 4-13-31, and further, the dog shall not be

released from the pound until all the provisions of this chapter and the ordinances of the city or

town are complied with. The provisions of this section relating to the five (5) day waiting period

shall not be deemed to apply to any dog which, when impounded, was injured or maimed, and

after the dog has been examined by a licensed veterinarian who shall confirm, in writing, that the

dog be destroyed for humanitarian purposes.

      The town of West Warwick may provide by ordinance an impounding fee of five dollars

($5.00) per day and may provide by ordinance for a fee for the purposes of transferring ownership

or for the disposition of said animals according to law for each adult dog (six (6) months or older)

the sum of twenty dollars ($20.00) and for each puppy the sum of five dollars ($5.00) for each

adult cat (six (6) months or older) the sum of ten dollars ($10.00).

      (b) Any person violating the provisions of this section is subject to the penalty provisions

of section 4-1-2.

      (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) the town council of the town of

Exeter may impose an initial impoundment fee of up to fifteen dollars ($15.00) plus two dollars

($2.00) per day for each day of impoundment.

      (d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), the city council of the city of East

Providence is authorized to enact an ordinance imposing an initial impoundment fee of up to

twenty dollars ($20.00) plus five dollars ($5.00) per day for each day of impoundment.

     (e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), the town council of the town of

Richmond is authorized to enact an ordinance providing for an impoundment fee of not more than

twenty dollars ($20.00) per day for any impounded animal, and requiring payment of the fee

before an impounded animal may be released to its owner.

 

     SECTION 2. Section 4-15-7 of the General Laws in Chapter 4-15 entitled "Animals at

Large" is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

     4-15-7. Fees paid to poundkeeper. (a) The owner of any impounded animal shall not

take the animal out of the pound until he or she first pays to the poundkeeper, the expenses of

keeping that animal, no regard being had to the milk derived from the animal, and the fees of the

poundkeeper for receiving the animal into the pound, namely: for each horse and neat-beast, not

more than five dollars ($5.00); for each sheep and hog, not more than three dollars ($3.00); for

every notification set up, or notice given to the owner, not more than one dollar ($1.00); and the

following penalties, namely: for every horse, neat-beast, hog, and sheep, not more than two

dollars ($2.00) as by ordinance provided by each town or city.

     (b) The Richmond town council is authorized to enact ordinances:

     (1) Prohibiting the owner or custodian of any animal including, but not limited to, horses,

cattle, goats, sheep, swine, emus, llamas, alpacas, rabbits, poultry, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, pea

fowl, peacocks, ostriches, reptiles, and birds, to allow that animal to be at large;

     (2) Authorizing the animal control officer or any police officer to seize and impound any

animal found off the property of its owner or custodian;

     (3) Imposing the penalties prescribed by 4-13-1(b)(12) for allowing any animal to be at

large; and

     (4) Permitting the animal control officer or any police officer to issue citations for

violations and to provide for payment of fines by mail.

 

     SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage.

     

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LC02545

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