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1/15/2016 Fellela introduces bill establishing criteria that must be met before euthanizing animals
STATE HOUSE — In an effort to give the state’s animals an additional degree of protection, Rep. Deborah A. Fellela (D-Dist. 43, Johnston) has introduced a bill that establishes a list of conditions that must be met before an animal shelter is authorized to euthanize an animal.

The proposed legislation (2016-H 7083) would amend Rhode Island’s animal care law by compelling animal shelters to meet certain guidelines.

“Rhode Island is one of the best states in the country when it comes to protecting our animals,” said Representative Fellela. “The reason for this is that we’re constantly reviewing our laws, regulations and policies that apply to animals. Establishing these guidelines will provide one more layer of protection to those animals that find themselves in a shelter.”

Among the criteria that must be met before an animal can be euthanized, animal shelters would have to ensure that the holding period for an animal has expired and that there are no empty cages or other living environments available. The shelter would also be obligated to ascertain that there are no foster homes available through another municipal or private animal shelter or Rhode Island incorporated animal organization, and that no other municipal or private shelter is willing to take the animal.

The animal control officer or shelter manager would then have to certify that all the conditions have been met and that euthanasia is the only reasonable alternative.

The bill, which is cosponsored by Representatives John M. Carnevale (D-Dist. 13, Providence, Johnston), Mary Duffy Messier (D-Dist. 62, Pawtucket), Thomas Winfield (D-Dist. 53, Smithfield, Glocester) and Stephen R. Ucci (D-Dist. 42, Johnston, Cranston), has been referred to the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare.

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903