PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The General Assembly approved legislation that would prohibit landlords from requiring tenants to debark or declaw their pets as a condition for occupancy.
Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio (D) said the bills were introduced to end animal abuse in Rhode Island and would keep any property owner from requiring a tenant to declaw or devocalize any animals allowed in the home .
‘Devocalization' is a surgical procedure that involves opening a pet, usually through the throat or mouth, to cut the vocal cords. ‘Declawing' involves amputating the last knuckle of each of a cat's toes.
Violators could face fines up to $1,000, be banned from owning pets, or be required to take humane education classes.
The bills are waiting for the governor's signature and if passed the law would go into effect immediately.
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