Rhode Island

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RI - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 21. Exemption from Liability Arising from Equine Activities This Rhode Island section provides that an equine professional, or any other person, shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities unless the equine activity sponsor, professional or other person are demonstrated to have failed to exercise due care under the circumstances towards the participant. Liability is not limited by this statute where the equine professional knowingly provided faulty tack or equipment, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity, owns or otherwise is in lawful possession of the land or facilities upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a known, dangerous latent condition, or if he or she commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant or intentionally injures the participant.
RI - Endangered Species - Chapter 37. Endangered Species of Animals and Plants. These Rhode Island statutes set out the legislative policy and definitions related to state endangered species law, including the definition of "animal" and what constitutes an "endangered species." By statute commerce is strictly prohibited, as it it illegal to "buy, sell, offer for sale, store, transport, import, export, or otherwise traffic in any animal or plant or any part of any animal or plant whether living, dead, processed, manufactured, preserved, or raw if the animal or plant has been declared to be an endangered species by either the United States secretaries of the interior or commerce or the director of the Rhode Island department of environmental management." Violation of the Act results in fines from $500-5,000 or up to one year imprisonment, or both.
RI - Education - § 16-22-20. Animal dissection and vivisection--Right to refuse--Alternate learning project required This Rhode Island law provides that parents or legal guardians of any student in a public or nonpublic primary or secondary school may refuse to allow their child to dissect or vivisect any vertebrate or invertebrate animal, or any part of a vertebrate or invertebrate animal. Students who refuse shall not be discriminated against for not participating in dissection and shall be offered an alternative method of learning the material.
RI - Domestic Violence - § 15-15-3. Protective orders--Penalty--Jurisdiction In 2019, Rhode Island added language to its law on protection orders in domestic abuse circumstances that protects household pets. Upon petition, a judge may order that a defendant vacate the household immediately, and "further provid[e] in the order for the safety and welfare of all household animals and pets."
RI - Dogs at campgrounds, beaches - § 42-17.1-45. No prohibition on pets This law provides that the Department of Environmental Management shall not promulgate or enforce any rule or regulation that would prohibit a pet dog or cat from accompanying its owner or caretaker at any state owned campground.
RI - Dogs - Consolidated Dog Laws These statutes comprise Rhode Island's dog laws. Among the provisions include licensing requirements, which are specified by county or town, vicious dog laws, and euthanasia provisions.
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 situational awareness and coordinates support for; the protection of the state’s agricultural and natural resources during emergencies; the emergency sheltering of pet animals; animal health issues; provide technical expertise, of animal and agricultural emergency management; ensure the safety and of the state’s meat, poultry, and dairy production facilities within the state."
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 Sec. 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 - 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 - 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.

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