TITLE 6

ANIMALS

 

6.04                 Definitions.

6.08                 Animal control.

6.10                 Cat spaying or neutering.

6.12                 Rabies control.

6.14                 Vicious dogs.

6.16                 Impoundment.

6.18                 Care of domestic livestock.

6.20                 Animal care.

6.22                 Enforcement and administration.

 


Chapter 6.04 DEFINITIONS

 

6.04.010          Definitions.

 

6.04.010  Definitions. The following words and phrases, whenever used in this Title, shall have the following meaning, unless from the context a different meaning is intended or unless a different meaning is specifically stated.

(Ord. dated 6-9-75, § 1 (part); Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09)

 

Abandonment of an animal.  The relinquishment of all right, title, claim, and physical possession of an animal with the intention not to reclaim the animal or resume ownership of the animal.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

Adequate feed.  A quantity of wholesome food suitable for the species and age of the animal and sufficient to maintain a reasonable level of nutrition, provided at intervals suitable for the species but at least every twenty-four hours, served in a clean container.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

Adequate living conditions.  A sanitary environment that is dry, free of accumulated feces, and free of debris and garbage that may clutter the environment, pose a danger to the animal’s health, or entangle the animal. The environment 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 of the animal, and must be suitable to maintain the animal in good health. This definition does not apply to livestock as defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-26-3(6).

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

Adequate veterinary care.  Care by a licensed veterinarian sufficient to prevent an animal from experiencing unnecessary or unjustified physical pain or suffering.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

Adequate water.  Constant access to a sufficient supply of clean, fresh, potable water provided in a sanitary manner and provided at intervals suitable for the species but at least every twenty-four hours.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

Animals.  Include, but are not limited to, dogs, cats, horses, cattle, goats, sheep, swine, emus, llamas, alpacas, rabbits, poultry, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, pea fowl, peacocks, ostriches, reptiles, and birds.

 

Animal control officer.  The person or persons employed by the town to enforce this Title and applicable state statutes and regulations. All employees of the police department, by virtue of office, shall be deputy animal control officers. Animal control officers shall include deputies.

(Ord. dated 6-9-75, § 1 (part); Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09)

 

At large.  An animal is at large when it is not on the property of its owner, or on the property of another person with that person’s permission, and is not under restraint.

(Ord. dated 6-9-75, § 1 (part); Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

Animal pound.  Any premises designated by the town for the purpose of impounding and caring for animals.

(Ord. dated 6-7-75, § 1 (part); Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

Confined.  An animal is confined when it is inside a securely-fenced area, inside a building, or inside a vehicle.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

Domestic livestock.  Domestic livestock includes cattle, cows, sheep, horses, ponies, mules, asses, burros, donkeys, goats, llamas, alpacas, rabbits, chickens, roosters, turkeys, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, pea fowl, peacocks, ostriches, emus, and any other animal kept as an accessory use to a principal residential use pursuant to Chapter 18.30 of the zoning ordinance.

 

Owner  Any person, persons, or corporation owning, keeping or harboring an animal, or a person having the same rights and responsibilities as an owner, or a person who has title to, possesses, has 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, or who permits an animal to habitually remain on, or be lodged or fed within, such person's property or premises. The term “owner” also means “guardian” as that term is defined by § 4-19-2(16) of the general laws.

(Ord. dated 6-9-75, § l (part); Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

Proper shelter.  A structure that will provide an animal with sufficient protection from inclement weather, excessive heat, or excessive cold to maintain the health and well-being of the animal. 

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

Restraint.  An animal is under restraint when it is (a) on a leash, or (b) in a secured enclosure, or (c) inside a vehicle, or (d) on the property of its owner or keeper, or (e) on the property of a person other than the owner with that person’s permission. Hunting dogs, including hounds, bird dogs and retrievers in the process of training, or when in legal pursuit of wild game in season, are considered under restraint. If an owner is unable to keep his or her animal on his or her own property when not under the control of a competent person, a restraint mechanism is required. 

(Ord. dated 6-9-75, § l (part); Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

Tether.  A dog is tethered when it is fastened to a stationary object or a stake by a chain, rope or other device to keep the dog under control. A dog being walked on a leash is not tethered.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

Veterinarian.  A veterinarian licensed to practice in Rhode Island.

(Ord. dated 6-9-75, § l (part); Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

Vicious dog.

A.  Any dog that, when unprovoked, in a vicious or terrorizing manner approaches any person in apparent attitude of attack upon the streets, sidewalks, or any other public grounds or places;

 

B.  Any dog with a known propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury, or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals; or

 

C.   Any dog that bites, inflicts injury, assaults, or otherwise attacks a human being or domestic animal without provocation on public or private property; or

 

D.  Any dog owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of dog fighting, or any dog trained for dog fighting that is deemed vicious after it has been properly assessed by the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA).

(Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 4-1-1, 4-13-1(b)(12), 4-13-1.2, 4-13.1-2, 4-15-7(b)(1), 4-19-2.

 

 


Chapter 6.08 ANIMAL CONTROL

 

6.08.010          Animals at large.

6.08.020          Confinement of dogs in heat.

6.08.030          Habitual nuisance dogs.

6.08.040          Dog bites.

6.08.050          Seizure or confinement of potentially dangerous animals.

6.08.060          Dog license, collar, and identification required.

6.08.070          Cat identification.

 

6.08.010  Animals at large.

 A.  Every owner shall keep his or her animal under restraint at all times and shall not permit the animal to be at large.

 

B.  An owner whose animal is found to be at large shall be fined fifty dollars ($50) for the first offense, seventy-five dollars ($75) for the second offense within one year of the first offense, and one hundred dollars ($100) for the third and each subsequent offense within one year of the first offense.

(Ord. dated 6-9-75, § 3; Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 6-7-11; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 4-13-1(b)(12), 4-13-15, 4-15-7(b).

 

6.08.020  Confinement of dogs in heat.

A.  Every dog in heat shall be confined in a building or secured enclosure, or in a veterinary hospital or a breeding or boarding kennel, in a manner that prevents the dog from coming into contact with another dog, unless the owner intends to breed the dog.

B.  If a dog in heat is impounded, the dog shall remain impounded until her period of heat ends, unless the owner reclaims the dog and provides satisfactory assurance to the animal control officer that the dog will be confined for the remainder of her period of heat.

C.        A person who violates this section shall be fined fifty dollars ($50) for the first offense, seventy-five dollars ($75) for the second offense within one year of the first offense, and one hundred dollars ($100) for the third and each subsequent offense within one year of the first offense.

(Ord. dated 6-9-75, § 6; Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 6-7-11; (Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-13-1(b)(12).

 

6.08.030  Habitual nuisance dogs.

A.  When any person makes a written, signed complaint to the police department that a dog is a habitual nuisance because of trespassing, howling, barking or making other noise, causing damage to property, by its actions being potentially dangerous, or in any manner causing undue annoyance, the animal control officer shall investigate the complaint.

 

B.  If after investigation the animal control officer finds that the complaint is justified, the animal control officer shall warn to the owner of the dog that the nuisance must be abated. The warning shall be in writing and delivered in person or sent by regular mail.

 

C.  If the nuisance occurs a second time within one year of the warning, the owner shall be fined fifty dollars ($50). If the nuisance occurs a third time within one year of the warning, the owner shall be fined seventy-five dollars ($75). If the nuisance occurs a fourth time or any subsequent time within one year of the warning, the owner shall be fined one hundred dollars ($100).   

(Ord. dated 6-9-75, § 7; Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-13-1(b)(12).

 

6.08.040   Dog bites. 

A.  The animal control officer shall immediately investigate a report that a dog has bitten a person or a domestic animal, pursuant to Sec. 2.9 of the state rules and regulations governing the prevention, control and suppression of rabies.

 

B.  The owner of a dog that, while at large, bites a person or a domestic animal without having first been provoked, shall be fined seventy-five dollars ($75).

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

6.08.050  Seizure or confinement of potentially dangerous animals.  The animal control officer shall have the authority to seize and impound any animal that by its actions appears potentially dangerous to humans or to other animals, or to order the owner to confine such an animal.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

6.08.060  Dog license, collar, and identification required. 

A.  All dogs shall be licensed. The license fee is in Chapter 3.06 of this Code. Licenses shall expire on April 30. Dogs less than six months old are exempt from the licensing requirement. Service dogs and thoroughbred dogs kept in licensed breeding kennels must be licensed but are exempt from the license fee.

 

B.  No license shall be issued unless the owner submits a current valid rabies certificate.

 

C.  Each dog shall wear a collar distinctly marked with the owner’s name and the dog’s license number.

 

D.  An owner who fails to license a dog or who fails to place a collar with the license and identification on a dog, or both, shall be warned to comply with the requirements of this Section within thirty days. The warning shall be in writing and delivered in person or sent by regular mail. An owner who fails to comply with this Section within thirty days of the day the warning was issued shall be fined fifty dollars ($50). An owner who fails to comply with this Section within sixty days of the day the warning was issued shall be fined one hundred dollars ($100).

(Ord. dated 6-9-75 § 15; Ord. dated 2-18-86; Ord. dated 3-21-95; Ord dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 6-3-14; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 4-13-1(b)(12), 4-13-4, 4-13-9, 4-13-15; Code § 3.06.070.

 

6.08.070  Cat identification.

A.  Every owner of a cat more than three months old shall provide the cat with a traceable form of identification that is worn at all times. Identification that complies with this Section includes, but it not limited to:

1.         A tag with the owner’s name and telephone number on it.

2.         A rabies vaccination tag.

3.         A tag issued by a veterinarian, animal shelter, or municipal animal pound.

4.         A registered microchip and (a) a collar and tag, or (b) a notched ear, or (c) a faceted, reflective ear stud.

5.         A tattoo registered with the national dog registry or a similar organization.

6.         A license issued by any municipality.

7.         A collar embroidered with the owner’s name and telephone number.

 

B.  The identification requirement in subsection A. above does not apply to the following cats:

1.         A cat that is temporarily in the state and restrained while in the state;

2.         A cat temporarily held by a veterinarian, a kennel, an animal shelter, or a municipal animal pound.

3.         A cat kept for breeding purposes that is kept exclusively indoors or in confined areas outdoors.

 

C.          The animal control officer shall warn an owner who has failed to provide a cat with a traceable form of identification that the owner must comply with this Section within thirty days. The warning shall be in writing and delivered in person or sent by regular mail.

 

D.  The owner of a cat who fails to provide identification for the cat within thirty days of the date the warning was issued shall be fined fifty dollars ($50). The owner of a cat who fails to provide identification for the cat within forty-five days of the day the warning was issued shall be fined seventy-five dollars ($75). The owner of a cat who fails to provide identification for the cat within sixty days of the day the warning was issued shall be fined one hundred dollars ($100).

 

E.  No person except an animal control officer or someone authorized by him or her, a veterinarian, an employee of a licensed animal shelter, or an employee of a municipal pound shall remove the identification from any cat not owned by the person.

(Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 6-7-11; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

Title 4, chapter 22 of the general laws; R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-13-1(b)(12).

 

 

Chapter 6.10 CAT SPAYING OR NEUTERING

 

6.10.010          Spaying or neutering required.

6.10.020          Permit to keep unaltered cat.

6.10.030          Permit to breed cat.

6.10.040          Conditions of permit.

6.10.050          Revocation of permit.

6.10.060          Violations.

6.10.070          Penalties.

6.10.080          Farm cats exempt.

 

6.10.010  Spaying or neutering required. No person shall own, keep or harbor a cat more than six months old that has not been spayed or neutered unless that person has a permit to keep an unaltered cat, a permit to breed the cat, or a statement signed by a licensed veterinarian that it would be inappropriate to spay or neuter a cat because of the cat’s age or health. 

(Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-24-3. 

 

6.10.020  Permit to keep unaltered cat.  An applicant shall submit an application to keep an unaltered cat to the animal control officer. The application shall include a statement, signed by the applicant, that the cat for which the permit is sought will not be bred unless the owner first obtains a breeding permit for that cat. The animal control officer shall have the authority to require the applicant to appear in person to submit the application. The animal control officer shall forward the completed application to the town clerk, who shall issue the permit upon the recommendation of the animal control officer.

(Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-24-3.

 

6.10.030  Permit to breed cat.

A.  No person shall cause or allow any male or female cat to breed without first obtaining a breeding permit.

 

B.  An applicant shall submit an application for a permit to breed a cat to the animal control officer. The animal control officer shall forward the completed application to the town clerk, who shall issue the permit upon the recommendation of the animal control officer.

 

C. The following conditions shall apply to the holders of all cat breeding permits: 

1.   No kitten shall be sold or placed unless it is at least eight weeks old and has received all immunizations required by law.

2.   The permit holder shall prominently display the permit number in any advertisement offering kittens for adoption or sale and shall provide the permit number to any person who adopts or buys a kitten.

(Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-24-4.

 

6.10.040  Conditions of permit.  The following conditions shall apply to all permits to keep an unaltered cat and all permits to breed a cat:

l.    A permit holder shall obtain a separate permit for each cat.

2.   The fee for the permit is in Chapter 3.06 of this Code. All fees shall be credited to the town’s fund for spaying and neutering animals.

3.   The permit shall expire one year from the date it was issued.

4.   Permits are not transferrable.

5.   The permit holder shall adhere to the minimum standards for the care and keeping of animals contained in title 4, chapter 19 of the general laws.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19) 

 

6.10.050  Revocation of permit.

A.  Any permit issued pursuant to this Chapter may be revoked if the animal control officer has reasonable cause to believe that:

1.   The permit holder has violated any of the minimum standards for the care and keeping of animals contained in title 4, chapter 19 of the general laws, or any other state statute or regulation or town ordinance concerning animal care or control, or

2.   The permit holder has failed to adhere to the conditions in Section 6.10.030.C. above, or

3.   The permit holder refuses to allow inspection, with forty-eight hours written notice, of any cat for which a permit has been issued , or the premises where the cat is kept.

 

B.  If an animal control officer has reasonable cause to believe that any of the circumstances in subsection A, above, have occurred, the animal control officer shall send the permit holder, by first class mail, a notice stating the grounds for revocation. The animal control officer shall conduct an informal hearing at which the permit holder may appear to dispute the animal control officer’s findings. The hearing shall take place at least five days after the date the notice is mailed. The notice shall state the date, time, and location of the hearing.

 

C.  As a result of the informal hearing, the animal control officer may modify the terms of the permit or revoke the permit. The animal control officer shall promptly communicate any  modification or revocation of a breeding permit to the town clerk, who shall send a copy to the owner of the cat.

 

D.  If an animal control officer believes that the health or safety of a cat is in danger, the animal control officer may take custody and control of the cat until the hearing.

(Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-24-6.

 

6.10.060  Violations.  The animal control officer shall warn any person who owns, keeps or harbors an unspayed or unneutered cat more than six months old who does not have a permit to keep an unaltered cat, a permit to breed the cat, or a statement signed by a licensed veterinarian, that the person must comply with this Chapter within thirty days. The warning shall be delivered in person or sent by regular mail.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

6.10.070  Penalties.  

A.  A cat owner who fails to spay or neuter the cat within thirty days of receipt of a warning shall be fined seventy-five dollars ($75). The owner shall be subject to a fine of seventy-five dollars ($75) for each thirty-day period after the warning that the cat is not spayed or neutered.

 

B.  A cat owner who breeds the cat or allows the cat to breed without a permit shall be fined one hundred dollars ($100).

 

C.  Fines collected for violations of this Chapter shall be credited to the town’s fund for spaying and neutering animals.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-13-1(b)(12).

 

6.10.080  Farm cats exempt.  Cats kept on any tract of land devoted to commercial agricultural use are exempt from the requirements of this Chapter.

(Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-24-7.

 

 

Chapter 6.12 RABIES CONTROL

 

6.12.010          Vaccination required.

6.12.020          Keeping unvaccinated dogs, cats, and ferrets.

6.12.030          Restraint, surrender and disposition of animals exposed to rabies.

6.12.040          Penalties.

 

6.12.010  Vaccination required. 

A.  The owner of every dog, cat, and ferret shall have the animal vaccinated for rabies not earlier than three months of age and not later than four months of age, and at regular intervals thereafter as prescribed by state regulations.

 

B.  The vaccination shall be administered by a veterinarian, who shall issue a certificate for each animal vaccinated.

(Ord. dated 6-9-75, § 10(a, b); Ord. dated 12-2-94; Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-13-31.

 

6.12.020  Keeping unvaccinated dogs, cats and ferrets.  

A.  It is unlawful for any person to own, keep or harbor any dog, cat or ferret more than four months old that has not been vaccinated against rabies.

 

B.  The animal control officer shall impound any dog, cat or ferret more than four months old  for which there is no evidence of vaccination. The animal control officer shall release the dog, cat or ferret to its owner only upon proof that the animal has a current vaccination or that arrangements have been made for immediate vaccination.

(Ord. dated 6-9-75, § 10; Ord. dated 12-2-94; Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 4-13-29.1, 4-13-31.

 

6.12.030  Restraint, surrender and disposition of animals exposed to rabies.

A.  Any rabid dog, cat, or ferret, or any dog, cat, or ferret bitten by a known rabid animal, shall be disposed of in a manner provided by state law by the animal control officer. If the owner is unwilling to destroy an exposed animal, or if the animal is currently vaccinated, the animal control officer shall order that the animal be confined, or confined and revaccinated, consistent with the rules and regulations promulgated by the R.I. rabies control board.

 

B.  No person shall kill, or cause to be killed, any rabid animal, or any animal suspected of having been exposed to rabies, or any animal that has bitten a human, nor remove it from the town, without written permission from the animal control officer.

 

C.  The carcass of any dead animal exposed to rabies shall, upon demand, be surrendered to the animal control officer.

 

D.  No person shall refuse to surrender any animal to the animal control officer for quarantine or destruction.

(Ord. dated 6-9-75, § 8; Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

6.12.040  Penalties.  A person who fails to vaccinate his or her dog, cat or ferret against rabies, or violates any other provision of this Chapter, is guilty of a misdemeanor. The defendant shall be prosecuted in the Fourth Division District Court, and is subject to a fine not less than two hundred dollars ($200) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500) for each offense; or imprisonment for not less than ten days nor more than thirty days; or both, and shall be subject to any other penalty provided by state law.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-13-32; Rules and Regulations Governing the Prevention, Control, and

Suppression of Rabies Within the State of Rhode Island (250-RICR-40-05-2, eff. 31 May 2018).

 

 

Chapter 6.14 VICIOUS DOGS

 

6.14.010          Determination.

6.14.020          Confinement.

6.14.030          Penalties.

 

6.14.010  Determination.  If the animal control officer has probable cause to believe that a dog is vicious, he or she shall convene a hearing according to the procedures required by R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-13.1-11 to determine whether the dog should be declared vicious. If the animal control officer has probable cause to believe that the dog may pose a threat of serious harm to human beings or to domestic animals, the dog officer may seize and impound the dog, or may order the owner to confine the dog, before a hearing takes place.

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-13.1-11.

 

6.14.020  Confinement. 

A.  A dog that has been declared vicious may be licensed and kept only in compliance with R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-13.1-3.

 

B.  A dog that has been declared vicious shall be confined in a fence or structure designed to prevent the dog from escaping. The fence or structure shall be at least six feet high with securely enclosed sides, top, and bottom, and locked. The dog may be removed from the enclosure only in compliance with R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-13.1-4.

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 4-13.1-3, 4-13.1-4. 

 

6.14.030  Penalties.

A.  The owner of a dog that has been declared vicious who does not comply with the requirements of R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 4-13.1-3 and 4-13.1-4 shall be prosecuted in the Fourth Division District Court and shall be fined five hundred fifty dollars ($550) for the first offense and one thousand dollars ($1,000) for any subsequent offense.

 

B.  If a dog that has been declared vicious, when unprovoked, kills, wounds, or worries, or assists in killing or wounding a domestic animal, as that term is defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-13.1-2(2), the owner of the dog shall be prosecuted in the Fourth Division District Court and shall be fined five hundred fifty dollars ($550) for the first offense and one thousand dollars ($1,000) for any subsequent offense. The animal control officer is authorized to confiscate and impound the dog. 

 

C.  If a dog that has been declared vicious, when unprovoked, attacks, assaults, wounds, bites,  injures, or kills a human being, the owner of the dog shall be prosecuted in the Fourth Division District Court and shall be fined one thousand dollars ($1,000) for the first and any subsequent offense. The animal control officer is authorized to confiscate and impound the dog. If the dog kills a human being, the dog shall be humanely euthanized.

(Ord. dated 6-9-75, § 6; Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 6-7-11; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 4-13.1-2, 4-13.1-3, 4-13.1-4, 4-13.1-9, 4-13.1-11.

 

Chapter 6.16 IMPOUNDMENT

 

6.16.010          Impoundment of animals at large.

6.16.020          Return of impounded animals.

6.16.030          Animals considered abandoned.

 

6.16.010  Impoundment of animals at large.  Any animal found at large shall be taken up by the animal control officer, impounded, and confined in a humane manner. The animal control officer shall make a prompt and reasonable attempt to locate and notify the owner of an impounded animal. An impounded animal without visible identification shall be scanned for a microchip.

(Ord. dated 6-9-75, § 4(a); Ord. dated 11-21-83 (part); Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

6.16.030  Return of impounded animals.

A.  The owner of an impounded animal shall pay twenty dollars a day for each day of impoundment to defray the expenses of impoundment. Payment shall be made before the animal is released.

 

B.  No impounded dog required to be licensed shall be returned to its owner unless the dog is licensed and is wearing a collar with the license tag and a tag displaying the owner’s name.

 

C.  No impounded cat required to have identification shall be returned to its owner unless the cat has identification required by Section 6.08.070 of this Title, or the owner provides the animal control officer with evidence that arrangements have been made to affix such identification.

 

D.  No impounded cat required to be spayed or neutered shall be returned to its owner unless the owner provides the animal control officer with evidence that arrangements have been made to spay or neuter the cat within thirty (30) days.

(Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 6-7-11; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 4-1-26, 4-13-15, 4-22-5.

 

6.16.020  Animals considered abandoned.  If an animal with or without identification is impounded, and the owner of the animal does not claim and take custody of the animal within ten business days of the date of impoundment, the animal shall be considered abandoned and shall become the property of the Town. An animal that is the property of the Town may be offered for adoption. No abandoned animal shall be given or sold to a laboratory for experimentation or testing.  

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-1-26, 4-13-15.

 

 

Chapter 6.18 CARE OF DOMESTIC LIVESTOCK

 

6.18.010          Purpose.

6.18.020          General standards.

6.18.030          Manure management.

6.18.040          Care of chickens and rabbits.

6.18.050          Violations.

 

6.18.010  Purpose.  The purpose of this Chapter is to establish standards for the care of domestic livestock, including cattle, cows, sheep, horses, ponies, mules, asses, burros, donkeys, goats, llamas, alpacas, rabbits, chickens, roosters, turkeys, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, pea fowl, peacocks, ostriches, and emus, as an accessory use to a principal residential use. This Chapter shall not apply to dogs, cats, and other household pets.

(Ord. dated 6-7-11; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

6.18.020  General standards.  The following standards apply to any parcel on which domestic livestock are kept. 

 

A.  Areas where domestic livestock are kept shall be managed in a manner that minimizes dust, odor, and vermin.

 

B.  Stormwater runoff from all areas where domestic livestock are kept and where manure is stored or composted shall be directed away from wetlands and wells on the parcel where the domestic livestock are kept and away from wetlands and wells on adjacent parcels. 

(Ord. dated 6-7-11)

 

6.18.030  Manure management.  Manure shall be stored or composted in the following manner:

 

A.  Manure shall be stored or composted at least fifty feet from a lot line, one hundred feet from a well, and two hundred feet from a wetland or stormwater drainage feature.

 

B.  Manure storage or composting areas shall be visually screened from residential uses on adjacent lots.

 

C.  Manure shall be stored on an impermeable surface and shall be protected from precipitation by a cover to prevent surface runoff over and around manure piles to avoid contamination of surface and ground water.

(Ord. dated 6-7-11; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

6.18.040  Care of chickens and rabbits.  The following standards apply to any parcel on which chickens or rabbits are kept.

 

A.  The chicken or rabbit shall have a coop or shelter that:

1.   provides adequate protection from the elements and inclement weather,

2.   is resistant to predators,

3.   is well-ventilated,

4.   provides a minimum of two square feet for each chicken or rabbit,

5.   is located on a impermeable surface and covered to prevent runoff,

6.   is kept clean, dry, and sanitary at all times, and

7.   is located at least twenty feet from any dwelling.

8.   is located at least one hundred feet from any well.

 

B.  Chickens shall have a fenced outdoor enclosure that adequately contains them. The fenced outdoor enclosure shall be kept clean and sanitary at all times. 

 

C.  Chickens shall be confined between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

 

D.  Animal feed shall be securely stored.

(Ord. dated 6-7-11; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

6.18.050  Violations.  The animal control officer shall serve a written warning on any person whose livestock or property is being maintained in violation of this Chapter. The warning shall be delivered in person or sent by regular mail. If the violation is not corrected within thirty days of the day the warning was issued, the person shall be fined fifty dollars ($50). If a second violation takes place within one year of the day the warning was received, the owner shall be fined seventy-five dollars ($75). If a third or subsequent violation takes place within one year of the day the warning was received, the owner shall be fined one hundred dollars ($100).   

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-13-1(b)(12); Code ch. 18.30, 18.31.

 

 

Chapter 6.20 ANIMAL CARE

 

6.20.010          Removal of dog collar; intent to harming a licensed dog.

6.20.020          Care of dogs.

6.20.030          Adequate feed, water, veterinary care for dogs.

6.20.040          Malicious injury to or killing of animals.

6.20.050          Cruelty to an animal.

6.20.060          Animal hoarding.

6.20.070          Dangerous confinement of an animal in a motor vehicle.

6.20.080          Abandonment of an animal.

 

6.20.010  Removal of dog collar, intent to harming a licensed dog.  Any person who wrongfully removes the collar from the neck of a dog, or steals a licensed dog to which identification is affixed, or who kills, maims, entices and carries away, or detains a licensed dog to which identification is affixed, or exposes a licensed dog to which identification is affixed to any poisonous substance with the intent of harming or killing the dog, shall be prosecuted in the Fourth Division District Court and shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten dollars ($10), nor more than one hundred dollars ($100) or be imprisoned not exceeding thirty (30) days, or both, and shall be liable to the dog's owner for damages in a civil action.

(Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 6-7-11; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-13-13. 

 

6.20.020  Care of dogs.

A.  No owner or keeper of a dog shall:

1.     Keep any dog on a permanent tether that restricts the dog’s movement to an area less than one hundred thirteen square feet or less than a six-foot radius at ground level.

2.     Tether a dog with a choke-type collar, head collar, or prong-type collar, or on a chain or tether that weighs more than one-eighth of the dog’s body weight.

3.    Keep a dog tethered for more than ten hours during a twenty-four hour period; keep a dog confined in an area or primary enclosure for more than fourteen hours during a  twenty-four hour period; or keep any dog confined in an area or primary enclosure for more than ten hours during a twenty-four- hour period if the area or enclosure is smaller than that required by current department of environmental management regulations governing animal care facilities.

4.     Keep a dog tethered or confined outdoors if evaluation of the dog’s condition using the Tufts Animal Care and Condition Weather Safety Scale results in a score of three or higher.

5.     Expose a dog to adverse weather conditions solely for the purpose of conditioning.

 

B.  The provisions of this Section related to the duration of tethering shall not apply:

1.     If the tethering or confinement is authorized for medical reasons in writing by a veterinarian, the authorization is renewed annually, and shelter is provided.

2.     If tethering or confinement is authorized in writing by an animal control officer in conformance with R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-13-42(d)(2).

3.     To a training facility, grooming facility, commercial boarding kennel, licensed pet shop, animal shelter, municipal pound, or veterinary facility.

4.     To licensed hunters, field trial participants, or any person raising or training a gun dog or hunting dog, provided that the licensed hunter or field trial hunt test participant is actively engaged in hunting, training, or field trial hunt testing or is transporting the dog to or from an event.

5.     To livestock farmers who use their dogs to protect their livestock from predators.

6.     To an exhibitor holding a class C license under the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. § 2133) who is temporarily in the state, if authorized by the department of environmental management.

7.     To sled dog owners who are actively training their dogs to pull sleds in winter conditions.

 

C.  A person who violates this Section shall be prosecuted in the Fourth Division District Court and is subject to imprisoned for a term not exceeding eleven months, or a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50) and not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both. Each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 4-13-1.2, 4-13-42.

 

6.20.030  Adequate feed, water, veterinary care for dogs.

A.  No owner or keeper of a dog shall fail to provide the dog with adequate feed, adequate water, or adequate veterinary care; provided, however, that adequate veterinary care may be provided by an owner using acceptable animal husbandry practices.

 

B.  A person who violates this Section shall receive a warning for a first offense. The warning shall be delivered in person or sent by regular mail. A person who violates this Section after receiving a warning shall be prosecuted in the Fourth Division District Court and is subject to a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50) and not more than five hundred dollars ($500) or imprisonment for a term not exceeding eleven months, or both. Each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense.

 

C.  If the offense described in this Section results in the death of the dog, the person shall be prosecuted in the Fourth Division District Court and is subject to a fine of not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or both.

In addition, a person convicted under this section shall serve fifty hours of community restitution. The community restitution penalty shall not be suspended or deferred and is mandatory. A person convicted under this subsection who is not the owner of the dog shall be liable to the owner of the dog for triple damages in a civil action.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-13-42.

 

6.20.040 Malicious injury to or killing of animals.

A.  Every person who cuts out the tongue or otherwise dismembers any animal maliciously; or maliciously kills or wounds any animal; or maliciously administers poison to or exposes any poisonous substance with intent that the poison shall be taken or swallowed by any animal; or who maliciously exposes poisoned meat with intent that the poison meat is taken or swallowed by any wild animal, shall be prosecuted in the Fourth Division District Court and is subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000). In addition, any person convicted under this section is required to serve fifty hours of community restitution. The community restitution penalty shall not be suspended or deferred and is mandatory.

 

B.  If the defendant is not the owner of the animal, the defendant shall be liable to the owner of the animal for triple damages, to be recovered by civil action.

 

C.  This section shall not apply to licensed hunters during hunting season or a licensed business killing animals for human consumption.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-1-5.

 

6.20.050  Cruelty to an animal.

A. Any person who overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, cruelly beats, mutilates or cruelly kills, or causes or procures to be so overdriven, overloaded, driven when overloaded, overworked, tortured, tormented, cruelly beaten, or mutilated, any animal, and whoever, having the charge or custody of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, inflicts cruelty upon that animal, shall be in violation of this Section.

 

B.  A person who violates this Section shall be prosecuted in the Fourth Division District Court and is subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eleven months, or a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50) and not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both, and any other penalty provided by state law. If the offense results in the death of the animal, the defendant shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both, and shall serve fifty hours of community restitution, and shall be subject to any other penalty provided by state law.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 4-1-2, 4-1-5.

 

6.20.060  Animal hoarding. 

A.  A person who accumulates animals in a number so great that the person fails or is unable to provide the animals with adequate living conditions, resulting in harm or danger to the health and well-being of the animals, shall be guilty of hazardous accumulation of animals.  

 

B.  A person who violates this Section shall be prosecuted in the Fourth Division District Court and is subject to imprisoned for a term not exceeding eleven months, or a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50) and not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both, and any other penalty provided by state law. When imposing a sentence, the court shall take into consideration whether the defendant’s conduct could be the result of a mental health disorder as defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 27-38.2-2.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 4-1-1, 4-1-2, 4-1-3.

 

6.20.070  Dangerous confinement of an animal in a motor vehicle.

A.  No person shall confine an animal in a motor vehicle in a manner that threatens the animal’s health or life by confining the animal for an extended period in extreme heat or extreme cold without proper ventilation or protection. 

 

B.  A person who knowingly violates this Section shall be prosecuted in the Fourth Division District Court and is subject to imprisoned for a term of no more than one year or a fine of no more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both. 

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws § 4-1-3.2.

 

6.20.080  Abandonment of an animal.

A.  No owner or keeper of an animal shall abandon the animal in any public or private place without providing for the continued care of the animal.

 

B.  A person who violates this Section shall be prosecuted in the Fourth Division District Court and shall be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eleven months, or a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50) and not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both, and any other penalty provided by state law. If the offense results in the death of the animal, the defendant shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both, and shall serve fifty hours of community restitution, and shall be subject to any other penalty provided by state law.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 4-1-2, 4-1-5, 4-1-26.  

 

 

Chapter 6.22 ENFORCEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION

 

6.22.010          Investigation authority.

6.22.020          Authority in cases of injured animals.

6.22.030          Interference with animal control officer’s duties prohibited.

6.22.040          Records to be kept.

6.22.050          Unlicensed operation of a kennel – penalties.

6.22.060          Payment of fines by mail.

 

6.22.010  Investigative authority.  In the discharge of the duties imposed by this Chapter, the animal control officer has the authority to enter upon any premises at all reasonable times, with permission, to examine any animal concerning a violation or possible violation of this Title or of any state law concerning animal care. The animal control officer has the authority to take possession of any such animal and remove it from the premises.

(Ord. dated 6-9-75, §11; Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 12-1-09; Ord. dated 6-7-11; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

6.22.020  Authority in cases of injured animals. In an emergency, the animal control officer may destroy an injured animal, but only after making every reasonable effort to communicate with the owner, and if that is not possible, making every effort to procure the services of a veterinarian either to care for the animal at the scene or to transport the animal to a veterinarian's office.

(Ord. dated 6-9-75, § 6(e); Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 6-7-11; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

6.22.030  Interference with animal control officer's duties prohibited. Any person who interferes with, hinders, or molests the animal control officer in the performance of his or her duties, or attempts to release any animal in the custody of the animal control officer shall be guilty of a petty misdemeanor.  Such a person shall be prosecuted in the Fourth Division District Court and shall be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding thirty days, or a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both. Each day of violation shall be a separate offense.

(Ord. dated 6-9-75, §12; Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 4-2-19)  

 

6.22.040  Records to be kept.

A.  The animal control officer shall keep or cause to be kept accurate and detailed records of the impoundment and disposition of all animals coming into his or her custody.

 

B.  The animal control officer shall keep or cause to be kept accurate and detailed records of all bite cases reported to him or her, and the investigation of the incident.

 (Ord. dated 6-9-75, § 13; Ord. dated 12-6-05; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

6.22.050  Unlicensed operation of a kennel.  Any person who operates a boarding kennel or a breeding kennel without a municipal license in violation of section 5.60.020 of this Code is punishable by a fine of five dollars ($5) for each day the kennel operated without a license. The offense shall be prosecuted in the Fourth Division District Court.

(Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

6.22.060   Payment of fine by mail.  For any offense punishable by a fine of five hundred dollars ($500) or less, the police department is authorized to prosecute the offense by use of a violation ticket that allows the violator to pay the fine by mail.

(Ord. dated 6-7-11; Ord. dated 4-2-19)

 

REFERENCES

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 4-13-1(b)(12), 4-13-10.

 

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