Bill would prevent landlords from requiring declawing

The Rhode Island Senate is backing a bill that would prevent landlords from requiring an animal be declawed or devocalized as a rental requirement.

The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals supports the bill, but leaders said it hasn't heard it was a problem. The group said it believes cats should only be declawed and dogs devocalized if there's a medical reason.

Dr. E.J. Finocchio, president of the RISPCA, said both operations can lead to additional problems for animals down the line.

Finocchio said he would rather landlords ban pets rather than forcing pet owners to choose between a rental property and taking their animal in for either procedure.

The bill is being considered in the state House.