Title 4
Animals and Animal Husbandry

Chapter 13

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-13-15.1

§ 4-13-15.1. Ordinances concerning unrestricted and vicious dogs prohibited — Leash laws.

(a) City or town councils may make any ordinances concerning dogs in their cities or towns as the councils deem expedient, pertaining to the conduct of dogs, which ordinances shall include regulations relating to unrestricted dogs, leash laws, confinement, and destruction of vicious dogs. Those ordinances may provide as follows:

(1) Every owner or custodian of a dog shall cause that dog not to run unrestricted anywhere in the city or town. This section does not apply to any person who uses a dog under his or her direct supervision while lawfully hunting, while engaged in a supervised formal obedience training class or show or during formally sanctioned field trials.

(2) It is unlawful for any owner of a dog to place that dog or allow it to be placed in the custody of any other person not physically capable of maintaining effective control of restricting the dog.

(3) The city or town dog officer is empowered to seize and impound any dog found off the property of its owner or custodian when that dog is unrestricted.

(4) Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be fined not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars ($250).

(b) The town council of the town of Westerly is authorized to enact an ordinance permitting the animal control officer in that town to issue citations to the owner of any dog found off the property of its owner or custodian and to prescribe a pecuniary penalty not to exceed twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for each violation.

(c) The town council of the town of Exeter is authorized to enact an ordinance imposing an initial fee of up to fifteen dollars ($15.00) for the impoundment of a dog plus two dollars ($2.00) per day for each day of impoundment. The town of Exeter may also, in addition to the fines provided for under subsection (a)(4) of this section and under any other provision of law, require proof of liability insurance for a twelve (12) month period in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for third time offenders of its animal control ordinances. Said insurance policy shall cover injuries and damages caused by the dog and shall, for purposes of notice, name the town as an additional insured.

History of Section.
P.L. 1984, ch. 306, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 35, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 60, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 275, § 1.