House Bill #5882 (2017)

AN ACT RELATING TO ANIMALS AND ANIMAL HUSBANDRY -- CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

Adds hoarding of animals to the list of cruelty to animal offenses, and requires a mental health evaluation for a person convicted of animal cruelty involving hoarding.

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  • 2017 – H 5882
  • 2017 – H 5882 AS AMENDED
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  • LC002001
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  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2017
  • ____________
  • A N A C T
  • ____________
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO ANIMALS AND ANIMAL HUSBANDRY – CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
  • Introduced By: Representatives Ackerman, Shekarchi, Lima, Serpa, and O'Brien
  • Date Introduced: March 09, 2017
  • Referred To: House Health, Education & Welfare
  • It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
  • SECTION 1. Sections 4-1-1, 4-1-3, 4-1-22 and 4-1-42 of the General Laws in Chapter 4- 1 entitled "Cruelty to Animals" are hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 4-1-1. Definitions – Responsibility for agents and employees.
  • (a) In this chapter and in §§ 4-4-9, 4-4-10, and 23-19-8:
  • (1) "Animal" and "animals" means every living creature except a human being;
  • (2) "Licensed graduate veterinarian" or "veterinarian" means a person licensed to engage in the practice of veterinary medicine, surgery, and dentistry in this state who is a graduate of an accredited veterinary medical, surgical, and dental school or college of a standard recognized by the Rhode Island veterinary medical association; and
  • (3) "Owner", "person", and "whoever" means corporations as well as individuals.
  • (4) "Guardian" shall mean a person(s) having the same rights and responsibilities of an owner, and both terms shall be used interchangeably. A guardian shall also mean a person who possesses, has title to or an interest in, harbors or has control, custody or possession of an animal and who is responsible for an animal's safety and well-being.
  • (5) Except for livestock as defined in subsection 4-26-3(7), "adequate living conditions" shall mean a sanitary environment which is dry and free of accumulated feces and free of debris and garbage that may clutter the environment, pose a danger or entangle the animal. The environment in which the animal is kept must be consistent with federal regulatory requirements, where applicable or generally recognized professional standards, where applicable, or otherwise be of sufficient size so as not to inhibit comfortable rest, normal posture or range of movement, and suitable to maintain the animal in a good state of health. "Adequate living conditions" for livestock as defined in subsection 4-26-3(7) shall mean best management practices established, no later than July 1, 2014, by the Rhode Island livestock welfare and care standards advisory council.
  • (6) Except for livestock as defined in §4-26-3, "hoarding" means the accumulation of a large number of animals, to a point where the owner, possessor or person having the charge or custody of the aforementioned animals fails to or is unable to: provide "adequate living conditions," as defined herein; provide adequate food, water and sustenance, or necessary veterinary care; and who keeps said animals in an overcrowded environment resulting in a negative impact on the health and well-being of the animals and/or the owner of said animals.
  • (b) The knowledge and acts of agents of and persons employed by corporations in regard to animals transported, owned or employed by or in the custody of that corporation are held to be the acts and knowledge of that corporation.
  • (5) Except for livestock as defined in subsection 4-26-3(7) 4-26-3(6), "adequate living conditions" shall mean a sanitary environment which is dry and free of accumulated feces and free of debris and garbage that may clutter the environment, pose a danger or entangle the animal. The environment in which the animal is kept must be consistent with federal regulatory requirements, where applicable or generally recognized professional standards, where applicable, or otherwise be of sufficient size so as not to inhibit comfortable rest, normal posture or range of movement, and suitable to maintain the animal in a good state of health. "Adequate living conditions" for livestock as defined in subsection 4-26-3(7) 4-26-3(6) shall mean best management practices established, no later than July 1, 2014, by the Rhode Island livestock welfare and care standards advisory council.
  • (6) Except for livestock as defined in §4-26-3, "hazardous accumulation of animals" means the accumulation of a large number of animals, to a point where the owner, possessor or person having the charge of custody of the aforementioned animals fails to or is unable to provide "adequate living conditions" as defined, resulting in harm or danger to the health and wellbeing of the animals. (b) The knowledge and acts of agents of and persons employed by corporations in regard to animals transported, owned or employed by or in the custody of that corporation are held to be the acts and knowledge of that corporation.
  • 4-1-3. Unnecessary cruelty.
  • (a) Every owner, possessor, or person having the charge or custody of any animal, who cruelly drives or works that animal when unfit for labor, or cruelly abandons that animal, or who carries that animal or who fails to provide that animal with adequate living conditions as defined in § 4-1-1, or who hoards animals as defined in §4-1-1, or causes that animal to be carried, in or upon any vehicle or otherwise in a cruel or inhuman manner, or willfully, intentionally, maliciously, recklessly, and/or knowingly authorizes or permits that animal to be subjected to unnecessary torture, suffering or cruelty of any kind, or who places or causes to have placed on any animal any substance that may produce irritation or pain, or that is declared a hazardous substance by the U.S. food and drug administration or by the state department of health, shall be punished for each offense in the manner provided in § 4-1-2. Any owner, possessor, or person having the charge or custody of any animal who is found guilty or pleads nolo contendere to a violation of this section and said violation involves hoarding, as defined herein, shall be ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation to determine if counseling or treatment should become an additional condition of the sentence.
  • (b) The substances proscribed by subsection (a) do not include any drug having curative and therapeutic effect for disease in animals and which is prepared and intended for veterinary use.
  • (c) University, college or hospital research facilities licensed and/or inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Public Health Service of the department of health and human services shall be exempt from the provisions of subsection (a) provided that they are in good standing with the federal agency responsible for licensing or assurance of the facility.
  • (a) Every owner, possessor, or person having the charge or custody of any animal, who cruelly drives or works that animal when unfit for labor, or cruelly abandons that animal, or who carries that animal or who fails to provide that animal with adequate living conditions as defined in § 4-1-1, or who engages in the hazardous accumulation of animals as defined in §4-1-1, or causes that animal to be carried, in or upon any vehicle or otherwise, in a cruel or inhuman manner,; or willfully, intentionally, maliciously, recklessly, and/or knowingly authorizes or permits that animal to be subjected to unnecessary torture, suffering, or cruelty of any kind,; or who places, or causes to have placed, on any animal any substance that may produce irritation or pain, or that is declared a hazardous substance by the U.S. food and drug administration or by the state department of health, shall be punished for each offense in the manner provided in § 4-1-2. If the offense described in this section results in the death of an animal, the person shall be punished in the manner in §4-1-5. Any owner, possessor, or person having the charge or custody of any animal who is found guilty of or pleads nolo contendere to a violation of this section and said violation involves the hazardous accumulation of animals, the court shall, in imposing a penalty under this section, take into account whether the defendant's conduct could be considered to be the result of a mental health disorder as defined in §27-38.2-2.
  • (b) The substances proscribed by subsection (a) do not include any drug having curative and therapeutic effect for disease in animals and which that is prepared and intended for veterinary use.
  • (c) University, college, or hospital research facilities licensed and/or inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Public Health Service of the department of health and human services shall be exempt from the provisions of subsection (a) provided that they are in good standing with the federal agency responsible for licensing or assurance of the facility.
  • 4-1-22. Care of neglected animals by society – Forfeiture of owner's rights – Expenses.
  • (a) An officer or agent of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals may lawfully take charge of any animal found abandoned or neglected or hoarded as defined in §4-1-1 or animal that, in the opinion of that officer or agent, is aged, maimed, disabled, lame, sick, diseased, injured, unfit for the labor it is performing, or cruelly treated, and shall give notice to the owner, if known, or his or her agents, and may provide suitable care.
  • (b) Every owner or agent, upon conviction, plea of guilty, or plea of nolo contendere, of abandonment, neglect, hoarding as defined in §4-1-1 or otherwise cruel treatment of any animal taken charge of by the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals under this section, forfeits the rights to ownership or control of that animal to the Society for disposition in any manner deemed suitable for that animal.
  • (a) An officer or agent of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals may lawfully take charge of any animal found abandoned or neglected or hazardous accumulated as defined in §4-1-1, or that in the opinion of that officer or agent, is aged, maimed, disabled, lame, sick, diseased, injured, unfit for the labor it is performing, or cruelly treated, and shall give notice to the owner, if known, or his or her agents, and may provide suitable care.
  • (b) Every owner or agent, upon conviction, plea of guilty, or plea of nolo contendere, of abandonment, neglect, hazardous accumulation as defined in §4-1-1, or otherwise cruel treatment of any animal taken charge of by the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals under this section, forfeits the rights to ownership or control of that animal to the Society for disposition in any manner deemed suitable for that animal.
  • (c) Whenever any officer or agent of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals lawfully takes charge of any animal under this section, all reasonable expenses for the care and treatment of the animal(s), while in the custody of the Society during this time, shall be paid for by the owner, guardian, or his or her agent upon conviction, plea of guilty, or plea of nolo contendere. The Society has the authority to commence a civil action for damages against the owner or his or her agent thirty (30) days after a written demand for payment of the expense of the suitable care of that animal has been sent and no payment has been received.
  • 4-1-42. Care of neglected animals by Department – Forfeiture of owner's rights – Expenses.
  • (a) The director of environmental management, or any veterinarian employed by the department of environmental management ("department"), may lawfully take charge of any animal found abandoned or neglected, or hoarded as defined in §4-1-1, or that, in the opinion of the department, is aged, maimed, disabled, lame, sick, diseased, injured, unfit for the labor it is performing, or otherwise cruelly treated, and shall give notice to the owner, if known, or his or her agents, and may provide suitable care.
  • (b) Every owner, guardian, or agent, upon conviction, entry of a guilty plea, or plea of nolo contendere, of abandonment, neglect, hoarding as defined in §4-1-1, or otherwise cruel treatment of any animal taken charge of by the department under this section, forfeits the right to ownership or control of that animal to the department for disposition in any manner deemed suitable for that animal.
  • (a) The director of environmental management, or any veterinarian employed by the department of environmental management ("department"), may lawfully take charge of any animal found abandoned or neglected or hazardously accumulated as defined in §4-1-1, or that, in the opinion of the department, is aged, maimed, disabled, lame, sick, diseased, injured, unfit for the labor it is performing, or cruelly treated, and shall give notice to the owner, if known, or his or her agents, and may provide suitable care.
  • (b) Every owner, guardian, or agent, upon conviction, entry of a guilty plea, or plea of nolo contendere, of abandonment, neglect, hazardous accumulation as defined in §4-1-1, or otherwise cruel treatment of any animal taken charge of by the department under this section, forfeits the right to ownership or control of that animal to the department for disposition in any manner deemed suitable for that animal.
  • (c) Whenever the department lawfully takes charge of any animal under this section, all reasonable expenses for the care and treatment of the animal(s), while in the custody of the department during this time, shall be paid for by the owner, guardian, or his or her agent, upon conviction, a plea of guilty or plea nolo contendere. The department has the authority to commence a civil action for damages against the owner or his or her agent thirty (30) days after written demand for payment of the expense of the suitable care of that animal has been sent and no payment received.
  • SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage. ======== LC002001 ========
  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO ANIMALS AND ANIMAL HUSBANDRY – CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
  • ***
  • This act would add hoarding of animals to the list of cruelty to animal offenses, and would require a mental health evaluation for a person convicted of animal cruelty involving hoarding.
  • This act would take effect upon passage. ======== LC002001 ========

Votes

NOTE: Electronic voting records are unofficial and may not be accurate. For an official vote tally, check the House or Senate Journal from the day of the vote.

Floor vote for PASSAGE

June 27, 2017 at 7:55pm
Yeas: 67 / Nays: 3 / Not voting: 5 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Rep. Abney Y
Rep. Ackerman Y
Rep. Ajello Y
Rep. Almeida Y
Rep. Amore Y
Rep. Azzinaro Y
Rep. Barros Y
Rep. Bennett Y
Rep. Blazejewski Y
Rep. Canario Y
Rep. Carson Y
Rep. Casey Y
Rep. Casimiro Y
Rep. Chippendale NV
Rep. Corvese Y
Rep. Costantino NV
Rep. Coughlin Y
Rep. Craven Y
Rep. Cunha Y
Rep. Diaz NV
Rep. Donovan Y
Rep. Edwards Y
Rep. Fellela Y
Rep. Filippi N
Rep. Fogarty Y
Rep. Giarrusso Y
Rep. Handy Y
Rep. Hearn Y
Rep. Hull Y
Rep. Jacquard Y
Rep. Johnston Y
Rep. Kazarian NV
Rep. Keable Y
Rep. Kennedy Y
Rep. Knight Y
Rep. Lancia Y
Rep. Lima Y
Rep. Lombardi Y
Rep. Maldonado Y
Rep. Marshall Y
Rep. Marszalkowski Y
Rep. Mattiello Y
Rep. McEntee Y
Rep. McKiernan Y
Rep. McLaughlin Y
Rep. McNamara Y
Rep. Mendonca Y
Rep. Messier Y
Rep. Morgan Y
Rep. Morin Y
Rep. Nardolillo Y
Rep. Newberry N
Rep. Nunes Y
Rep. O'Brien Y
Rep. O'Grady Y
Rep. Perez Y
Rep. Phillips NV
Rep. Price N
Rep. Quattrocchi Y
Rep. Ranglin-Vassell Y
Rep. Regunberg Y
Rep. Roberts Y
Rep. Ruggiero Y
Rep. Serpa Y
Rep. Shanley Y
Rep. Shekarchi Y
Rep. Slater Y
Rep. Solomon Y
Rep. Tanzi Y
Rep. Tobon Y
Rep. Ucci Y
Rep. Vella-Wilkinson Y
Rep. Walsh Y
Rep. Williams Y
Rep. Winfield Y

Floor vote for Approval of Amendment

September 19, 2017 at 6:24pm
Yeas: 10 / Nays: 0 / Not voting: 1 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Algiere Y
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Calkin Y
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Conley Y
Sen. Cote Y
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Crowley Y
Sen. DaPonte Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Doyle NV

Floor vote for Passage as Amended

September 19, 2017 at 6:24pm
Yeas: 10 / Nays: 0 / Not voting: 1 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Algiere Y
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Calkin Y
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Conley Y
Sen. Cote Y
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Crowley Y
Sen. DaPonte Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Doyle NV

Floor vote for PASSAGE IN CONCURRENCE

September 19, 2017 at 8:36pm
Yeas: 62 / Nays: 1 / Not voting: 12 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Rep. Abney Y
Rep. Ackerman Y
Rep. Ajello Y
Rep. Almeida Y
Rep. Amore NV
Rep. Azzinaro Y
Rep. Barros NV
Rep. Bennett Y
Rep. Blazejewski Y
Rep. Canario Y
Rep. Carson NV
Rep. Casey Y
Rep. Casimiro Y
Rep. Chippendale NV
Rep. Corvese Y
Rep. Costantino Y
Rep. Coughlin Y
Rep. Craven Y
Rep. Cunha Y
Rep. Diaz NV
Rep. Donovan Y
Rep. Edwards Y
Rep. Fellela Y
Rep. Filippi N
Rep. Fogarty Y
Rep. Giarrusso Y
Rep. Handy Y
Rep. Hearn Y
Rep. Hull Y
Rep. Jacquard Y
Rep. Johnston Y
Rep. Kazarian Y
Rep. Keable Y
Rep. Kennedy Y
Rep. Knight Y
Rep. Lancia Y
Rep. Lima Y
Rep. Lombardi Y
Rep. Maldonado Y
Rep. Marshall Y
Rep. Marszalkowski Y
Rep. Mattiello Y
Rep. McEntee Y
Rep. McKiernan Y
Rep. McLaughlin Y
Rep. McNamara Y
Rep. Mendonca NV
Rep. Messier Y
Rep. Morgan Y
Rep. Morin Y
Rep. Nardolillo NV
Rep. Newberry Y
Rep. Nunes Y
Rep. O'Brien Y
Rep. O'Grady NV
Rep. Perez Y
Rep. Phillips Y
Rep. Price NV
Rep. Quattrocchi NV
Rep. Ranglin-Vassell NV
Rep. Regunberg Y
Rep. Roberts Y
Rep. Ruggiero Y
Rep. Serpa Y
Rep. Shanley Y
Rep. Shekarchi Y
Rep. Slater Y
Rep. Solomon Y
Rep. Tanzi Y
Rep. Tobon Y
Rep. Ucci Y
Rep. Vella-Wilkinson Y
Rep. Walsh NV
Rep. Williams Y
Rep. Winfield Y