Rhode Island House Bill 7663, introduced by Representative John J. DeSimone (D-Providence), would arbitrarily ban many common dog confinement practices used by sporting and other dog owners.
The bill would prohibit keeping a dog in a pen, cage, or other shelter for more than 14 total hours in a 24-hour period regardless of the size of the pen or shelter. This would virtually eliminate the commonly accepted practice of keeping dogs in outdoor kennels, regardless of the size of the kennel. In addition, the bill would prohibit tethering a dog for more than 10 total hours in a 24-hour period.
Sportsmen calls are urgently needed! The bill could be voted on by Rhode Island’s full House as early as tomorrow (Tuesday, June 5th).
“Many of the nation’s most respected sporting and other dog owners keep their dogs in outdoor kennels or use safe tethering practices,” said Jeremy Rine, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance in-house counsel and associate director of state services. “The completely arbitrary limits included in this bill will only criminalize responsible dog owners and will do nothing to stop bad actors. Sportsmen and dog owners need to call their representatives today to oppose this bill.”
Outdoor housing and tethering have long been utilized by hunters, field trialers, boarding kennels and others who take great care of their dogs. The bill is so poorly written that it could even be interpreted to prohibit keeping a dog in a person’s home for more than 14 total hours a day.
While the bill does include an exemption for sporting dog owners, it would only apply when the dog was actively engaged in hunting, training, or field trialing, or while being transported to or from these activities. The exemption does not provide any protection to sporting dog owners while they are at home.
The bill is similar to Senate Bill 2035 which is currently pending in Rhode Island’s state senate.
Take Action! Rhode Island sportsmen should immediately contact their state representatives and ask them to oppose House Bill 7663. Tell them the restrictions imposed by the bill are unnecessary and would create an unwarranted hardship for responsible sporting dog owners. To find your state representative’s contact information, please visit www.ussportsmen.org/LAC.