200 people pack RISPCA meeting, demand justice for Moses

By: Rebecca Turco

Email: rturco@abc6.com

EAST PROVIDENCE – Around 200 people packed an informational meeting at the RISPCA Monday night, demanding harsher penalties for animal cruelty.

Many locals are outraged following the story of Moses, the lab who was recently euthanized for renal failure due to severe neglect. His owner, Brian Kenney, 47, is charged with unnecessary cruelty to an animal, a misdemeanor. His maximum penalty: $500 and 11 months behind bars.

Lisa Davenport of Cranston feels that isn’t good enough. She thinks Kenney should be facing a felony charge, instead. “How can a human being treat an animal like this,” she asked. “The rules and laws have to be changed.”

RISPCA Director Dr. E.J. Finocchio explained that it’s what you don’t do to an animal for a misdemeanor charge, like not taking it to the vet in Moses’ case, and what you actually do to an animal, like hitting it, for a felony.

But, it isn’t always that simple. “There are loopholes,” Representative Robert Nardolillo (R-Coventry) told ABC6 News. “We are looking into them now, and we’re going to make sure that justice is served in all victimized cases of animal cruelty.”

He and Representative Patricia Serpa (D-West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick) started three petitions to acknowledge the severity of these issues. The first: to the general assembly, to pass stiffer enhanced animal abuse penalties and increase punishments. The second and third: to district and superior courts, to consider the high-end of penalty phases and take crimes of animal abuse more seriously.

People can go to the RISPCA Monday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to sign the petitions. Officials are hoping for thousands of signatures through December, before they submit the petitions.

© WLNE-TV 2015