BSL ALERT: Woonsocket, Rhode Island

In June 2009, the Woonsocket, Rhode Island police department launched a campaign to persuade the City Council to impose strict new regulations on pit bull terriers. While that campaign failed, it appears the police department did not give up their push for a breed specific ordinance.

The City Council President, at the prodding of the police department, is now proposing an ordinance “designed to curb the city’s population of ‘pit bulls’ and other ‘fierce, dangerous or vicious’ dogs.” The proposal, modeled after that of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, is on the city council meeting agenda on Monday, October 15, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. While it is anticipated that no action will be taken at tomorrow’s meeting in order to give the council an opportunity to discuss the proposal and gather feedback from police and pet owners, it is important for residents to attend this meeting. A Pawtucket animal control officer has been invited to the meeting to talk to the city council about how the law is working in that city.

Under the proposal, all breeds of dogs commonly referred to as pit bulls, and their owners, would be affected, including the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier “or any dog of mixed breed displaying the majority of physical traits of any one or more of the above breeds.” Proposed regulations can be found below the city contact information.

Please contact the Woonsocket city officials with your polite, respectful and informative opposition to breed specific legislation. Please also provide them with suggestions and viable alternatives for their consideration, as well. If you are in the Woonsocket area, please try to attend tomorrow’s meeting.

Woonsocket City Council

City Clerk Andrea Bicki
(401) 767-9248

City of Woonsocket
169 Main Street
Woonsocket, RI 02895
(401) 762-6400

The proposed ordinance would require:

(1) Any pit bull which had been licensed on or before the date of passage of the ordinance. The license must be renewed yearly.
(2) The owner or keeper must be at least 21 years of age.
(3) The owner or keeper shall present to the City Clerk proof that the owner or keeper has procured liability insurance in the amount of at least $100,000.
(4) The owner or keeper, at the owner’s or keeper’s own expense shall have had the pit bull spayed or neutered and shall present to the City Clerk documentary proof of sterilization.
(5) At all times when a pit bull is at the property of the owner or keeper, the pit bull is to be confined, either in a secure, temporary enclosure, or within the premises of the owner or keeper, or within a fenced enclosure from which the dog cannot escape. At all times when a pit bull is away from the property of the owner or keeper, the owner or keeper shall keep the pit bull either securely leashed and muzzled, or in a “secure temporary enclosure,”
(6) The owner or keeper shall not sell or otherwise transfer the pit bull to any person except a member of the owner’s or keeper’s immediate family. The owner or keeper shall notify the City Clerk within five days in the event that the pit bull is lost, stolen, dies, or has a litter. In the event of a litter, the owner or keeper must deliver the puppies to the Animal Shelter for destruction or permanently remove the puppies from the city. Any pit bull puppies kept contrary to the provisions of this subsection are subject to immediate impoundment and disposal.
(7) The owner or keeper shall have posted at each possible entrance to the owner or keeper’s property where the pit bull is kept a conspicuous and clearly legible pit bull sign. Suchpit bull sign must be at least eight inches by 10 inches in rectangular dimensions and shall contain only the words “PIT BULL DOG” in lettering not less than two inches in height.

Ward proposes ordinance aimed at ‘fierce’ dogs

By Russ Olivo

WOONSOCKET – City Council President John F. Ward is proposing a new ordinance designed to curb the city’s population of pit bulls and other “fierce, dangerous or vicious” dogs. The most dramatic provision of the measure would be to prohibit any new pit bills bulls in the city after the law is passed. The only legal pit bulls would be those registered by their owners before the law goes into effect, and registration itself would come with onerous new requirements, including a $100,000 worth of liability insurance on the animal.

The article in its entirety can be found at this link:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s