Rhode Island Just Changed The Game For So-Called “Vicious” Dogs

Written by: Katie Haller

October 23, 2015

On Tuesday, Rhode Island lawmakers passed a law requiring any dog seized from dogfighting or an unprovoked attack to be placed in the care of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This means that RISPA the authority to evaluate the dogs on an individual basis and try to rehabilitate them before making any decision on the dog’s future.

This will give dogs like Handsome Dan, who was one of the many dogs rescued from the dog fighting ring funded by NFL quarterback Michael Vick.


Handsome Dan inspired his new human, Heather Gutshall, to start her own rescue, Handsome Dan’s Rescue, which helps all Bully breed dogs.

When speaking about the new law, Rep. Joe Shekarchi said:

No dog is born vicious. They’re taught to be vicious, and they can be equally taught to be un-vicious and we should give them a second chance and another opportunity.

Once the dogs have been rehabilitated and evaluated they will put up for adoption or donated as service dogs.

Watch this local news story to learn more:

Featured image and h/t via Turnto10

Written by: Katie Haller

October 23, 2015