Rhode Island

  • Guardians are required to spay and neuter all cats over the age of 6 months, unless they pay a hefty price for a breeder’s permit for an intact animal.
  • Violators are fined $75 for every month that they don’t comply; these fees are collected in Rhode Island’s spay and neuter fund.
  • For those who cannot afford to alter their animals, subsidies are included to help low-income families reduce the overpopulation crisis.

4-24-3. Spaying and neutering. (a) No person, as defined by section 4-19-2, shall own or harbor, within the state, any cat over the age of six (6) months which has not been spayed or neutered, unless such person has adopted a cat from a licensed releasing agency as defined by section 4-19-2 and is subject to the spaying and neutering requirements of section 4-19-16 or holds either a license to keep an unaltered cat, or a license and permit for breeding cats issued by the animal control officer for the city or town in which they live, or unless the caretaker states that, due to age, health or illness it would be inappropriate to spay or neuter the cat and having in their possession a letter from a licensed veterinarian stating such, which shall be provided to the animal control officer. (b) An “intact” permit shall be issued for an unaltered cat if the owner signs a written statement that such animal will not be allowed to breed unless the owner has first obtained a breeding permit. An “intact” permit may be issued by the animal control officer to an individual who refuses to spay or neuter their cat. The fee for such a permit shall be one hundred dollars ($100) per year. All funds from “intact” permits shall be deposited in the city or town’s spay/neuter account. (c) Any person providing care or sustenance for an uninterrupted period of sixty (60) days or longer shall be deemed the owner of such animal and shall adhere to the provisions of this chapter. Provided, further, that cities and towns may, by ordinance, require a permit of persons who provide care or sustenance for colony(s) of feral cats.

4-24-13. Low-cost spay/neuter accounts. (a) All revenue generated pursuant to sections 4-24-9 and 4-24-10 shall be deposited in the respective city and towns spay/neuter accounts. Said funds shall be divided equally with fifty percent (50%) of which to be reserved for the exclusive use of funding a low-cost spay/neuter program for the animals of persons who qualify for one of the following public assistance programs or any other public assistance program as determined by the city or towns animal control officer:

(1) Any program which qualifies as public assistance pursuant to chapter 40-6;
(2) The food stamp program authorized by Title XIII of the federal Food and Agriculture Act of 1977, 7 USC 2011 et seq.;
(3) The supplemental security income program authorized by Title XVI of the federal Social Security Act, 42-USC 1381 et seq.;
(4) The federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Act authorized by 42 USC 601 et seq.; or
(5) The Medicaid program authorized by Title IX of the federal Social Security Act, 42 USC 1381.

Persons who are eligible for any of the aforementioned programs must provide proof that he or she is an eligible person to the animal control officer of that city or town to qualify for the low-cost spay/neuter provisions of this section.
(b) All remaining funds shall be deposited in the respective city or towns spay/neuter account to fund the spaying and neutering of animals currently residing in the city or towns pound and to fund low-cost spay/neuter programs.

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