WHEREAS, Members of most societies have long believed that a person's treatment of animals reflects his or her treatment of other human beings; and
WHEREAS, Scientific, social service, medical, judicial and law enforcement communities are beginning to recognize violent behavior often first reveals itself in the form of cruelty to animals; and
WHEREAS, Some of this recognition has come about through detailed profiles of violent criminals. There exists compelling circumstantial evidence linking serial and mass murderers with earlier acts of cruelty to animals; and
WHEREAS, Acts of animal cruelty are very likely predictors of both domestic and societal violence; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That a special legislative commission be and the same is created consisting of fifteen (15) members: two (2) of whom shall be from the senate, not more than one (1) from the same political party, to be appointed by the majority leader: one (1) of whom shall be a member of the Windwalker Humane Coalition; one (1) of whom shall be the State Veterinarian, or designee; one (1) of whom shall be the director of the Department for Children, Youth and Families, or designee; one (1) of whom shall be the director of the Department of Health, or designee; one (1) of whom shall be member of the Rhode Island Animal Legislative Coalition (R.I.A.L.C.); one (1) of whom shall be a veterinarian; one (1) of whom shall be a mental health professional; one (1) of whom shall be a member of the Animal Control Officers Association; one (1) of whom shall be a member of the Rhode Island Veternary Medical Society; one (1) of whom shall be a member of the Volunteers In Service to Animal Society; and, three (3) of whom shall be members of the general public to be appointed by the majority leader.
In lieu of any appointment of a member of the legislature to a permanent advisory commission, a legislative study commission, a legislative study commission, or any commission created by a general assembly resolution, the appointing authority may appoint a member of the general public to serve in lieu of a legislator, provided that the majority leader or the minority leader of the political party which is entitled to the appointment consents to the appointment of the member of the general public.
The purpose of said commission shall be to study the association between and amongst domestic violence, child abuse and animal abuse to produce legislation to require cross reporting between DCYF and Animal Control Officers (SPCA).
Forthwith upon passage of this resolution, the members of the commission shall meet at the call of the senate majority leader and organize and shall select form among the legislators a chairperson. Vacancies in said commission shall be filled in like manner as the original appointment.
The membership of said commission shall receive no compensation for their services.
All departments and agencies of the state shall furnish such advice and information, documentary and otherwise, to said commission and its agents as is deemed necessary or desirable by the commission to facilitate the purposes of this resolution.
The joint committee on legislative services is hereby authorized and directed to provide suitable quarters for said commission; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the general assembly on or before January 22, 1998 and said commission shall expire on March 22, 1998.