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From: AKC's Government Relations Department
[mailto: [email protected]_ (mailto:[email protected]) _]
Sent: Friday, June 15, 2012 11:35 AM
To:
Subject: ACTION NEEDED NOW: DANGEROUS RHODE ISLAND BILLS SENT TO GOV.
CHAFEE FOR APPROVAL

_http://www.akc.org/governmentrelations/index.cfm_ (http://www.akc.org/governmentrelations/index.cfm) >
Friday, June 15, 2012

Please forward this message to members of your club(s) in Rhode Island or
others who may be impacted:

Rhode Island Senate Bill 2035 and House Bill 7663 have been forwarded to
Gov. Lincoln Chafee for his signature or veto
. Among other provisions, these
bills would make it unlawful for dog owners to keep a dog confined in a
pen, cage, or other shelter for more than 14 hours, including non-concurrent
periods, within a 24-hour period. The American Kennel Club believes these
bills, if either is signed into law, will have an enormously negative impact
on responsible Rhode Island dog owners or those who visit Rhode Island for
dog events. It is imperative that individuals concerned with these
dangerous bills contact Governor Chafee’s office and respectfully request that the
Governor veto both bills.

The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs, including
providing an adequate and nutritious diet, clean living conditions, regular
veterinary care, kind and responsible human companionship, and training in
appropriate behavior. We believe that dogs kept in enclosures should be protected
from harsh weather conditions, and provided appropriate food, water, and
care. We believe, however, that as currently written, SB 2035 and HB 7663 are
unreasonable, burdensome, and vague. We also believe that these bills fail
to recognize that responsible owners know what is best for their dogs and
have the best interests of their dogs at heart.

AKC’S CONCERNS:
We believe that SB 2035 and HB 7663 could prove harmful to many
responsible owners and their dogs. For example, consider an owner who, while at work
during the day and while asleep at night, utilizes crating to ensure their
dog’s safety. Under the provisions of these bills—regardless of whether an
owner acts responsibly by providing walks, training, exercise, play time,
etc.—such an owner would be breaking state law.

Additionally, the overly broad language of SB 2035 and HB 7663 may give
rise to potentially threatening situations for dogs themselves. Owners know
best when it comes to the care of their animals. Those who successfully
utilize responsible crating should not be arbitrarily limited from the
practice, thereby risking exposure to household situations that could be dangerous
to, for example, mischievous dogs.

Moreover, the vague language of SB 2035 and HB 7663 may also be construed
to prohibit additional acceptable means of maintaining dogs. For example,
these bills will likely prohibit keeping dogs in fenced yards with proper
protection from the elements and the temporary crating of dogs en route to
and at all dog events (with the exception of hunting and field trials, which
are specifically exempted from these provisions).
Enforcement of the
provisions as written will cripple dog events with safety concerns. In 2011,
AKC-approved dog events brought approximately $2.5 million into Rhode Island.
Enactment of SB 2035 and HB 7663 will almost certainly reduce that number. We
believe that clarification should be included to ensure that responsible
owners may continue to maintain dogs in fenced-in yards, in homes, during
travel, and at dog events as long as appropriate and safe conditions are
provided.

The American Kennel Club also believes that, as currently written, House
Bill 7663 adds conflicting enforcement provisions. Subsection (c) of
proposed new section 4-13-42 allows for a warning for a first violation, while
subsection (e) of the same proposed new section requires any violation to be
subject to up to 11 months imprisonment and/or fines between $50 and $500.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
It is imperative that all concerned dog owners, both from Rhode Island and
from surrounding areas who compete at Rhode Island events, contact
Governor Lincoln Chaffee and respectfully request that he veto SB 2035 and HB
7663. Additionally let him know that you welcome any opportunity to work with
him or the Rhode Island legislature to help develop effective solutions to
any substantiated animal_ control issues that would also protect and enhance
responsible dog ownership in Rhode Island.

Governor Lincoln Chafee
82 Smith Street
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 222-2080
Email: _ (http://www.karagold.com/) [email protected]_
(mailto:[email protected]) _
For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at
(919) 816-3720, or e-mail _ (http://www.karagold.com/) [email protected]_
(mailto:[email protected]) _.

I'd note that while you may be okay crating your dog while hunting and at a field trial, you might still be liable under this law if you do the same thing at home.
 

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Damn big brother, telling us how they know so much better than us how to care for our dogs.
 

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I think my new signature line says it best... Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.... Ronald Reagan
 
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