Friends, we need your help. There is a bill sitting in "limbo" here in Rhode Island that we are desperately trying to get passed. House Bill 5433 & its companion Senate Bill 465 pertains to the seizure of animals and the bonding set forth.
The Potter League, the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (RISPCA), and the many municipal shelters throughout the state care for the animal victims of cruelty and neglect. As you can imagine, these cases can be extremely challenging. For example, the hoarding seizure case involving Abyssinian cats – saving these cats came with a price tag of over $40,000. Worth every penny spent but nevertheless a daunting financial burden.
These animals typically have serious medical and behavioral needs compared to average shelter population. The financial burden of addressing those needs rests squarely on municipalities and shelters. Those expenses coupled with the challenges of long-term housing while the victims await a court decision is daunting. The previously mentioned cats – seized in July, 2018 – court case has still not been adjudicated. Although we were eventually and luckily able to obtain custody of these cats and find loving homes for them, close to a year later, staff and the city solicitors are still actively prosecuting this case.
If passed, this legislation will allow animals to be properly cared for at shelters and municipality, however the financial burden would remain the owner’s responsibility until the case is resolved or if they are not able to, consequently relinquish rights to said animal(s). H5433 & S465, commonly referred to as an animal bonding bill, clearly places the responsibility for an animals care with its owner rather than their care being subsidized by the people of Rhode Island via municipalities and/or animal shelters.
Here is how you can help.
The legislative season is coming to an end and we desperately need this bill passed. We need all Rhode Island residents to contact their Representatives and Senator today and encourage the passage of H5433/S465. A few minutes to place a phone call or send an email, will make a world of difference.
Thank you for caring.