Response from RIDEM today: "At this point the Department of Environmental Management does not have sufficient evidence to believe that he has sold a sufficient number of dogs to require that he obtains a breeder license."
If he is just giving dogs away that he breeds, does that mean anyone can just breed dogs in RI, give them away anywhere in the country, and not be a licensed breeder? "Someone who gives dogs away is exempt from the requirement of licensure as a breeder. The provisions of 4-19, as stated in 4-19-1 which states the purpose of this chapter, focuses on dogs and cats that are in commerce or in licensed facilities. If a person doesn’t meet the threshold of animals that requires licensure, we can’t force that person to be licensed. To my knowledge, no state requires licensure of breeders if that breeder doesn’t sell their dogs."
How often are inspections of breeding "facilities" required on an annual basis? "As mentioned earlier, the breeder license requirement is new. We do not currently have any licensed breeders, but we have at least one in the process of seeking a license. We will conduct an inspection of any facility seeking a license prior to the first license being issued for any facility. We have authority to conduct random unannounced inspections of any licensed facility during stated business hours. We conduct inspections of licensed facilities whenever we receive a credible complaint and we stop in for random inspections as scheduling allows. The standards for licensed facilities can be found at http://sos.ri.gov/documents/archives/regdocs/released/pdf/DEM/9070.pdf . I want to reiterate that these regulations only apply to licensed facilities. They are not applicable to Mr. Dennis unless it is determined that he is required to be licensed as a breeder. "
Currently, pit bull breeder Clifford Dennis has a breeders permit for SIX pit bulls that are registered with the City of Warwick.
According to state law Title 4 Chapter 4-19 "Animal Care," a Breeder is defined as: 10) "Breeder" means a person engaged in the propagation of purebred or crossbred dogs and/r cats for the purpose of improving and enhancing a breed recognized and registered by the American Kennel Club, American Field Stud Book, a registered cat breed association, or for sale at wholesale or retail, unless otherwise exempted as a hobby breeder as defined below.
A "Hobby Breeder" is defined as: "Hobby breeder" means those persons whose regular occupation is not the breeding and raising of dogs and cats and whosemethod of sale is at retail only. A hobby breeder shall not exceed the limits set forth in § 4-25-1(4). Any person who sells at retail a number in excess of the limits in the aforementioned section shall be considered a breeder.
Per DEM: If Dennis is in fact breeding dogs, he would be required to be licensed pursuant to a new law, passed this fall, that requires breeders to be licensed as a “breeder” if they sell in excess of three litters per calendar year, or twenty puppies per calendar year.
Dennis has a breeder's permit for all six pit bulls. The next question becomes-- how has the City of Warwick been tracking the SALE of pit bulls as a result of the 6 pit bulls being used for breeding purposes? In order to be a licensed "breeder" Dennis would have to be selling more than 3 litters per calendar year or 20 puppies per calendar year. How is the City tracking the sale of pit bull puppies from this breeder or any other breeder in the City???
Mr. Dennis has claimed (what he said to SPCA) is he only uses 2 of the six pit bulls for breeding purposes... that means just 2 pit bulls would have to have at least 20 pit bull puppies per year in order to satisfy the breeding permit provisions. How is the City tracking the puppies that are being sold from this breeder in order to qualify as a registered breeder??