Bill would ban mandatory cat declawing

Rhode Island landlords would no longer be able to require their tenants to declaw their cats under legislation pending in the state’s General Assembly. Senate majority leader Dominick Ruggerio announced his proposal Thursday. Ruggerio’s proposal would also prohibit landlords from demanding tenants remove the vocal cords of dogs as a condition of occupancy. The North Providence Democrat said landlords should not subject the pets of tenants to what he calls inhumane acts. The proposal is similar to a law in California, which was the first state to make it illegal for landlords to demand tenants to declaw a cat. Under Ruggerio’s proposal, tenants could still decline to rent to tenants with pets. The bill has not been scheduled for a hearing or vote.