§ 4-13-44. Minimum maturity level for sale of dogs.
(a) Except as otherwise authorized under any other provision of law, it shall be a crime, punishable as specified in subsection (c) of this section, for any person to sell or transfer (as further described within subsection (b) of this section) one or more dogs that are not fully weaned unless, prior to any physical transfer of the dog or dogs from the seller/transferor to the purchaser/transferee, the dog or dogs are approved for sale, as evidenced by written documentation from a veterinarian licensed to practice in Rhode Island.
(b) For the purposes of this section, the sale or transfer of a dog or dogs shall not be considered complete, and thereby subject to the requirements and penalties of this section, unless and until the seller/transferor physically transfers the dog or dogs to the purchaser/transferee.
(c) Any person who violates this section shall be subject to imprisonment not to exceed twelve (12) months or a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.
(d) With respect to the sale of two (2) or more dogs in violation of this section, each dog unlawfully sold or transferred shall represent a separate offense.
(e) This section shall not apply in instances where the following types of organizations place a dog into "foster care" pursuant to their respective current practices of operation:
(1) An organization, as defined in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or animal shelter, as defined in § 4-19-2; and
(2) A pound or dog pound as defined in § 4-19-2.
(P.L. 2018, ch. 161, § 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 267, § 1.)