Rhode Island

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RI - Restaurant - § 21-27-12. Outdoor dining--Dogs permitted Rhode Island has the newest law. In July of 2016, a law enabling restaurant owners to allow a patron's dog to accompany the patron in the outdoor dining area during the hours designated by the owner of the restaurant became effective. The law is very similar to Maryland's by giving the restaurateur the ability to regulate the size and type of dog entering the area. The owner may also deny entry to the restaurant and can eject any patron accompanied by a dog at his or her own discretion. Signage explaining the policy and rules must be visibly posted.
RI - Research - Chapter 27. Retirement of Research Dogs and Cats This chapter, adopted in 2018, is the “Research Animal Retirement Act." A higher education research facility that receives public money must assess the health of a cat or dog to determine whether it is suitable for adoption once any testing or research on the animal has been completed. The facility must then make reasonable efforts to place those suitable dogs or cats through private adoption or adoption through a shelter or rescue. These efforts shall be made prior to euthanizing the dog or cat.
RI - Rabies - § 4-13-29.1. Responsibility for local rabies control This Rhode Island statute provides that towns and cities are required to provide for the control of rabies in cats, dogs, and ferrets within its boundaries. The municipality may elect to adopt into ordinance provisions at least as stringent as this chapter.
RI - Pet Sales - Chapter 25. Pet Warranties--Dogs This Rhode Island chapter enacted in 2007 created a remedy for purchasers who are sold dogs with disease or hereditary defects. Upon sale, a seller is required to give purchasers a written statement that gives the dog's breed, breeder, license number (if applicable), a record of inoculations, and a record of the dog's veterinary diagnoses and treatments. Both the seller and purchaser must sign and date a written statement from the seller that states that the dog either has not known disease, illness, or hereditary condition that adversely affects its health, or a statement that fully describes the diseases or conditions. A purchaser is entitled to relief from the seller after the purchase of a dog if within twenty (20) days after the purchase of the dog, a licensed veterinarian states in writing that the animal is suffering from or has died from an illness, disease or other defect adversely affecting the animal's health and that this condition existed in the dog on or before delivery to the purchaser, or within two (2) years after the purchase of the animal, a licensed veterinarian states in writing that the animal possesses or has died from a congenital or hereditary condition adversely affecting its health.
RI - Pawtucket - Breed - § 116-37. Registration of Rottweilers required; § 116-37.1 Pit bulls prohibited


In Pawtucket, Rhode Island, it is unlawful to own, possess, keep, exercise control over, maintain, harbor, transport, or sell any pit bull dog. Exceptions are made for animal shelters, dog shows, and dogs that have been previously registered and licensed. In the last case, the owner must be at least 21 years of age, keep liability insurance of at least $100,000, have the dog sterilized, keep the dog properly confined, and post a "PIT BULL DOG" sign. A violation may result in a fine ($500 - $1,000) and/or imprisonment up to 30 days. The dog may also be impounded and/or destroyed.

RI - Ordinances - § 4-13-8. Disposition of license fees This Rhode Island statute provides that towns and cities may adopt ordinances or regulations concerning the use of money received for dog licenses.
RI - Ordinances - § 4-13-3. Prior ordinances preserved This Rhode Island statute provides that nothing in the state laws concerning dogs shall be construed as to repeal any ordinance concerning dogs, which has been passed by any town or city council.
RI - Ordinances - § 4-13-15.1. Ordinances concerning unrestricted and vicious dogs prohibited--Leash laws This Rhode Island statute provides that city or town councils may make any ordinances concerning dogs in their cities or towns as the councils deem expedient, pertaining to the conduct of dogs. The statute outlines specifically what the ordinances may address, including regulations relating to unrestricted dogs, leash laws, confinement, and destruction of vicious dogs. The statute also adds additional provisions relating to the towns of Westerly and Exeter.
RI - Ordinances - § 4-13-1.1. Towns of Portsmouth, West Warwick, and Middletown and city of Woonsocket--Vicious dog ordinance This Rhode Island statute provides that the town councils of the towns of Portsmouth, West Warwick and Middletown may, by ordinance, provide that the owner or keeper of any dog that assaults any person shall be fined an amount not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than two hundred dollars. The investigation must prove that the dog was off the owner's property or that the assault was the result of owner negligence. It further provides that, in the city of Woonsocket, an owner shall not be declared negligent if an injury is sustained by a person who was committing a trespass or other tort upon the owner's premises or was teasing, tormenting, provoking, abusing or assaulting the dog or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.
RI - Livestock, damage done by - Chapter 14. Damage by Animals This chapter deals with responsibilities and liability for livestock at large. No horse, bull, boar, ram, or goat shall be permitted to run at large and if the owner or keeper of these, for any reason suffers any animals to do so he or she shall upon conviction be fined not in excess of one hundred dollars ($100) and be liable in addition for all damages done by the animal while so at large. The chapter also specifies procedures for impounding animals found at large.

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