The Rhode Island Senate voted down a bill that would have created an animal-abuser registry in the state on June 28. The bill, HB 5113, would have penalized any animal-related offense, including minor violations unrelated to the health or well-being of a dog. People convicted under the law would have been forced to register for 15 years and would have been prohibited from owning any animals during that period.
“We are glad to see the senate understand the vast consequences this bill posed for all animal owners in Rhode Island,” said Luke Houghton associate director of state services for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “This bill was fatally flawed from the start. It was a vast and significant overreach to try and regulate all violations – even the most minor – with these type of penalties. Worse, this bill lacked simple due process protections.”
This bill was clearly a one size-fits-all approach that would have resulted in responsible dog owners being penalized the same as those who commit truly heinous crimes against an animal. Additionally, the public registry, created under HB 5113, would have included the addresses of all violators, exposing kennels, dog owners and their family members to targeting by animal-rights extremists.
“Rhode Island dog owners should not take this victory in stride,” continued Houghton. “This flawed bill found significant support in the House of Representatives, and even some support in the senate, and is likely to resurface next year. Sportsmen and dog owners should contact their representatives and explain the dangers of a blanket registry bill.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.