LAWS OF RHODE ISLAND 1956
TITLE 4. ANIMALS AND ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
1. CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
§ 4-1-2. Overwork,
mistreatment, or failure to feed animals -- Shelter defined
overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments,
deprives of necessary sustenance, cruelly beats, mutilates or cruelly kills, or
causes or procures to be so overdriven, overloaded, driven when overloaded, overworked,
tortured, tormented, deprived of necessary sustenance, cruelly beaten, mutilated
or cruelly killed, any animal, and whoever, having the charge or custody of any
animal, either as owner or otherwise, inflicts cruelty upon that animal, or willfully
fails to provide that animal with proper food, drink, shelter or protection from
the weather, shall, for each offense, be imprisoned not exceeding eleven (11)
months, or be fined not less than fifty dollars ($ 50.00) nor exceeding five hundred
dollars ($ 500), or both.
(b) Every owner, possessor, or person having
charge of any animal may upon conviction of a violation of this section be ordered
to forfeit all rights to ownership of the animal to the animal control officer
of the city or town in which the offense occurred or to a humane society which
owns and operates the shelter which provided the subject animal shelter subsequent
to any confiscation of said animal pursuant to this section.
means a structure used to house any animal which will provide sufficient protection
from inclement elements for the health and well being of the animal.
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 causes that animal to be carried, in or upon any vehicle or otherwise in a
cruel or inhuman manner, or willfully 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.
(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.
4-1-5. 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 imprisoned not exceeding
two (2) years or be fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($ 1,000), and shall,
in the case of any animal of another, be liable to the owner of this animal for
triple damages, to be recovered by civil action. In addition, any person convicted
under this section is required to serve ten (10) hours of community restitution.
The community restitution penalty shall not be suspended or deferred and is mandatory.
(b) This section shall not apply to licensed hunters during hunting
season or a licensed business killing animals for human consumption.
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