Getting a New Pet? Here Are Some Resources

Rescues/Shelters/Municipal Animal Control (aka Pounds)

The Division of Agriculture's Animal Health Unit regulates the Importation of dogs and cats for adoption and sale. We licenses privately-run animal shelters that are physically located within the State of Rhode Island, as well as rescues and carriers which operate within its borders, even if located outside of RI.

DEM Animal Shelter Statistics Public Search: LRA (Licensed Releasing Agency)

Animal Health Complaints

The Department of Environmental Management's Animal Health Unit fields questions, concerns and complaints regarding the health and welfare of domestic animals, inclusive of exotics. We take complaints very seriously; before making a complaint you should be aware that the associated records are public information, including the name of the complainant.

Pet Store Complaints

Who hasn't been charmed by a pet store puppy? Many puppies are purchased each year from pet stores in Rhode Island and most transactions are entirely satisfactory. However, there are times when you may have a question, or a concern, or a complaint.

The Department of Environmental Management's Animal Health Unit licenses pet stores in Rhode Island. In general, questions and concerns about the condition of animals at pet stores or the condition of the stores themselves would most appropriately be directed to DEM. If you have such concerns, please contact the Animal Health Unit at (401) 222-2781.

However, questions about sales contracts and business practices would be directed to the consumer protection unit at the state Attorney General's office, at (401) 274-4400.