Johnston Man Arrested for Animal Endangerment

As reported in the July 10, 2014 edition of the Providence Journal, a Johnston man was arrested for animal endangerment. This is the first arrest under a new law that was recently passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Chafee.

The new law states "no owner or person shall confine any animal in a motor vehicle which is done in a manner that places the animal in a life threatening or extreme health threatening situation by exposing it to a prolonged period of extreme heat or cold, without proper ventilation or other protection from such heat or cold. In order to protect the health and safety of an animal, an animal control officer, law enforcement officer or fire fighter who has probable cause to believe that this section is being violated shall have the authority to enter such motor vehicle by any reasonable means necessary under the circumstances, after making a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other responsible person."

The penalties if convicted include imprisonment for up to one year or by a fine of no more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.

In this case, the man is accused of leaving his dog in his motor vehicle while he was inside a store. Police arrived on scene and determined the car temperature to be 124 degrees. The dog was removed from the car and given to the Rhode Island SPCA. The man may be allowed to have the dog returned to him but the new law requires that he pay for the care of the dog while it is the custody of the Rhode Island SPCA.

If you or a family member has been charged with animal endangerment, animal cruelty or other crimes, please allow Attorney Robert H. Humphrey's reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process. Please contact Attorney Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at

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