Title 4
Animals and Animal Husbandry

Chapter 19
Animal Care

R.I. Gen. Laws 4-19-12

 4-19-12.  Disposition of animals.

(a) Notwithstanding any provision of the general or public laws to the contrary, it shall be unlawful to dispose of any animal by using a carbon monoxide chamber or gas chamber. All animals that must be disposed of by a municipal pound or shelter, the humane society, an animal shelter, rescue, pet shop, breeder, kennel, or any other entity that is required to be licensed or registered under this chapter must be disposed of by lethal injection. In the event of an emergency, if a licensed veterinarian cannot be secured without undue delay and, in the opinion of the animal-control officer, animal-control administrator, approved humane investigator, animal shelter employee, or agent of any other entity so required to be licensed under the provisions of this chapter, the animal is so severely injured, diseased, or suffering in such a manner the animal cannot otherwise be humanely destroyed in an expeditious manner, the animal may be destroyed by shooting; provided, that:

(1) Maximum precaution is taken to minimize the animal's suffering and to protect other persons and animals;

(2) The animal is restrained in a humane manner;

(3) Shooting is performed by highly skilled and trained personnel utilizing a weapon, ammunition of suitable caliber, and other characteristics, and proper placement of the shot to produce an instantaneous death by a single gunshot.
If any type of restraint or confinement is deemed necessary for the safety of those involved, or for efficiency in euthanizing the animal, it must be done in the most humane way possible to cause the least amount of additional stress to that animal.

(b) (1) No dog officer shall give or sell, or negotiate for the gift or sale, to a dealer or research facility of any animal that may come into his or her custody in the course of carrying out his or her official assignments.

(2) No dog officer shall be granted a dealer's license. Each application for a dealer's license shall include a statement made under oath, that neither the applicant, nor any member or employee of the firm, partnership, or corporation making application, is a dog officer within the meaning of this chapter.

(3) A dog officer, or other licensed releasing agency, upon taking custody of any animal in the course of his, her, or its official duties, shall immediately make a record of the matter in the manner prescribed by the director and the record shall include a description of the animal, including: color, breed, sex, reason for seizure, location of seizure, the owner's name and address if known, and all license or other identification numbers if any. Complete information relating to the disposition of the animal, including compliance with the provisions of  4-19-16 and 4-19-18 and any legal actions taken to uphold and enforce this law, shall be added in the manner provided by the director immediately after disposition. The information shall be forwarded monthly to the department of environmental management.

(c) This section shall not apply to any research laboratories or facilities of any hospital, college, or university within the state.

History of Section.
P.L. 1972, ch. 46, 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 420, 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 162, 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 125, 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 203, 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 256, 2; P.L. 2005, ch. 262, 2; P.L. 2016, ch. 488, 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 490, 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 447, 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 475, 1.