Claims in alleged dog abuse case in Warwick unfounded, RISPCA says

The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said claims about an alleged dog abuse case in Warwick are unfounded. (The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)

The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said claims about an alleged dog abuse case in Warwick are unfounded.

"The RISPCA found no evidence of animal cruelty or neglect or any other violations of Rhode Island Law pertaining to animal cruelty," the organization recently noted on its website. "The owner was compliant in granting access to his property for inspection and also demonstrated a genuine concern for the health and well-being of his animals."

The organization said they, along with two Warwick Animal Control officers and a pair of police officers, investigated a property on Toll Gate Road on Dec. 20 after they received multiple complaints about more than a dozen dogs purportedly being mistreated and neglected.

"The complaints alleged there were upwards of 15 dogs on the premise, being left outdoors with inadequate shelter, and therefore exposed to the inclement elements," according to the RISPCA. "There were also allegations that these dogs were being illegally bred and used for illegal dogfighting."

But authorities said they found six adult "Pitbull-type dogs" that were "in good body condition," noting that there were not "any visible signs that the elements were having any detrimental effects on their health or well-being. There were also no signs of scaring or injuries indicating these dogs were engaged in any form of fighting."

The animals had clean, fresh water, with every dog tied to a chain that was about 10 to 15 feet long.

"Each dog had access to individual shelters that were constructed of wood," the RISPCA said. "The shelters had double insulated walls, and two separate compartments filled with straw. These shelters were found to provide sufficient protection from the elements, including rain, snow, and wind."

The RISPCA posted two photos of the shelters, adding that they "do not condone this method of housing dogs, nor do we condone training dogs for hog hunting or similar activities in which animals are placed in harm’s way, however, it is our duty to enforce the laws as they are written."

The organization encouraged anyone who is concerned about laws related to animal welfare to contact their local senators or state representatives.

"The RISPCA spends countless hours at the Statehouse every year, fighting to improve the laws as they pertain to animal welfare," RISPCA noted. "We recognize there is always room for improvement, but we are proud to say that RI is ranked 5th in the nation in animal welfare laws but the Animal Legal Defense Fund."

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