Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
News : Recent Press Releases     Op-Ed     Publications     About the Legislative Press Bureau Printer Friendly View
1/22/2024 Rep. O’Brien introduces two animal protection bills
STATE HOUSE – Rep. William W. O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) has introduced two bills that strengthen Rhode Island’s animal protection laws.  Representative O’Brien has been a strong advocate for animal protection laws since first entering the House of Representatives in 2013 and he received the 2021 Defenders of Animals’ Human Heroes Award.
“Animals have no voice and sadly, more often than not, they are defenseless against cruel humans who wish to do them harm.  I am proud of my legislative accomplishments to help and protect animals in Rhode Island and the state has made great strides over the past few years to protect our pets and wildlife from the malicious abuse of these defenseless creatures.  This legislative session is no different and I will continue to fight for the well-being of animals in our state,” said Representative O’Brien.
The first piece of legislation (2024-H 7052) would prohibit the declawing of a cat or other animal unless a licensed veterinarian has determined that the procedure is necessary for a therapeutic purpose. Any person who violates this section would be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000.
The second bill (2024-H 7236) would add animal cruelty offenses to the list of domestic violence crimes committed by a family or household members against another.
Both bills have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
Over the past several General Assembly sessions, Representative O’Brien has seen several animal protection bills become law, including a bill which establishes a procedure for the owner or guardian of an animal in the custody of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA) to pay reasonable expenses for the animal’s care, including shelter and food and a law which expands Family Court jurisdiction to allow protective orders to provide for the safety and welfare of household pets in domestic abuse situations.  He also was the sponsor of a law that requires anyone entrusted with the care and control of an animal, such as a veterinarian or an animal shelter worker, to report any discovered instance of animal cruelty to the proper authorities and another law that speeds up the process of adoption for any animals that are abandoned or impounded.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903