Rhode Island

Displaying 1 - 10 of 46
Titlesort descending Summary
Detailed Discussion of Rhode Island Great Apes Laws


This discussion analyzes the laws relevant to the possession of great apes in Rhode Island. The paper examines categories of individuals who possess great apes including persons using them as pets, exhibitors, zoos, sanctuaries, and circuses.

DuBois v. Quilitzsch


After a dog injured a city inspector during an inspection of a property, the inspector sued the homeowners. Inspector alleged strict liability, premises liability, and negligence. The Supreme Court entered summary judgment for the defendants on the premises-liability and negligence claims because the inspector failed to show that homeowners had knowledge of their dog's vicious propensities. These claims were subject to the common law one-bite rule (and not strict liability) because the injuries occurred within an enclosed area on the owner’s property.

Giarrusso v. Giarrusso This Rhode Island Supreme Court case centers on a disagreement among former spouses concerning the ex-husband's visitation with their two dogs acquired during marriage. Before the Court is an order directing the parties to appear and show cause why the issues raised in this appeal should not be summarily decided. After review, the Court concluded that cause was not shown and affirmed the order of the Family Court. The couple entered into a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) formalizing the terms of the dissolution of Diane and Paul Giarrusso's marriage and giving Diane all title and interest to the dogs and Paul twice a week visitation. The weekly visitation proceeded according to the agreement for over a year, when Diane ceased allowing Paul's visits. Paul then filed a motion for post-final judgment relief citing breach of the agreement and Diane counterclaimed. A justice of the Family Court held a hearing on the issue, where each party testified and submitted associated texts and emails. In one recounted incident, a dog was missing for some time at Paul's house. Ultimately, the dog was found to be accidentally locked in a closet. At the conclusion of the hearing, Diane argued that the justice should withdraw approval for the MSA because Paul failed to care for the dogs and showed bad faith, while Paul argued that Diane had breached the terms. The hearing justice affirmed the visitation schedule of the MSA, denied Diane's requested relief, and awarded attorney fees to Paul. On appeal here, Diane argues that the hearing justice was "clearly wrong and overlooked material evidence when she found that Paul had acted in good faith." In particular, Diane contends that the dogs are chattel and Paul failed to provide safe conditions and return them to her in an undamaged condition. The Supreme Court held, in noting that the MSA retains the characteristics of a contract, that it would not overturn the hearing justice's determination in absence of mutual mistake in the contract (the MSA). There was no mutual mistake in the MSA's visitation provision and no basis for the hearing justice to conclude that the MSA needs to be reformed. Further, this court found no evidence of bad faith on Paul's part and that the hearing justice's findings were support by the evidence. Thus, it was not inequitable to enforce the visitation term in the MSA as written. The order of the Family Court was affirmed and the matter returned to Family Court.
Rhode Island Public Laws 1857-1872: Chapter 912: An act for the prevention of cruelty to animals.


A collection of the laws concerning cruelty to animals from Rhode Island for the years 1857-1872.  The act covers such topics as bird fighting, cruelty to animals, enforcement of the act, and  procedural issues concerning the act.

RI - Assistance Animals - Consolidated Assistance Animal Laws


The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance/service animal laws.

RI - Cats - Chapter 22. Cat Identification Program and Chapter 24. Permit Program for Cats


These Rhode Island section is entitled the "Cat Identification Program."  Under this law, cats are required to display some form of identification (tag, tattoo, etc.) in an effort to reduce the feral/stray cat problem.  The law reduces the retention period for cats impounded without some form of identification.

RI - Central Falls - Breed - Sec. 8-162. - Pit bulls unlawful.


In Central Fall, Rhode Island, it is unlawful for any person to own, possess, keep, exercise control over, maintain, harbor, transport, or sell any pit bull dog, with exceptions for dogs already registered and licensed, for animal shelters, and participants in dog shows. The owner of a pit bull must be at least 21 years old, must carry liability insurance of at least $100,000, prove the dog was spayed or neutered, and post a "PIT BULL DOG" sign. Violation of this ordinance may result in a fine of $250 (first offense) to $1,000 (third offense) and imprisonment up to 30 days. The dog may also be impounded and destroyed.

RI - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Laws (Chapter 1. Cruelty to Animals)

These Rhode Island statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  The cruelty law provides that whoever overdrives, overloads, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, or cruelly beats, mutilates or kills any animal , is subject to imprisonment up to 11 months, or a fine of $50.00 - $500, or both.  The intentional cruelty provision expands the penalty to 2 years possible imprisonment or a fine of $1,000, or both.

RI - Dangerous Dog - § 4-13.1-9. Penalties for violation--Licensing ordinances and fees


This Rhode Island statute provides that a vicious dog

may be confiscated by a dog officer and destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner after the expiration of a five day waiting period if

an owner does not secure liability insurance, have his or her dog properly identified, or properly enclose/restrain the dog.  If any dog declared vicious under § 4-13.1-11, when unprovoked, kills, wounds, or worries or assists in killing or wounding any described animal, the owner shall pay a five hundred fifty dollar fine.  The dog officer is empowered to confiscate the dog.  The statute further provides that municipalities may enact vicious dog licensing ordinances and provide for impoundment of dogs that violate such ordinances.  It also outlines other actions owners of vicious dogs must take, including the posting of vicious dog signs and the maintenance of proper insurance.

RI - Disaster Planning - Emergency Support Function 11

The State of Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency is tasked with the coordination of emergency response and plans. Emergency Support Function 11, "Provides the coordination of local resources in response to pet, farm, and wild animal care needs before, during, and following a significant natural disaster or man-made event. Responsible for the protection and recovery of natural and cultural resources and historic properties. Identifies, obtains, and transports food and water supplies to impacted areas in the aftermath of a disaster or emergency" according to that agency.

Pages