Councilman seeks new rules on leashing, containing dogs

Councilman seeks new rules on leashing, containing dogs

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Following multiple recent dog attacks, Town Councilor Steven DiLorenzo is seeking new rules on leashing and keeping pets in town.

The attacks, said DiLorenzo, happened in the area of Homewood and Garden Avenues off Olney Avenue. One was documented, with actions taken, and two or three more were not documented.

North Providence has an antiquated leash law that’s short on details, DiLorenzo told The Breeze, seemingly written a century ago.

At Tuesday’s Town Council meeting, DiLorenzo was planning to bring up the issue and ask the full Town Council to send it to the ordinance subcommittee for review. Current rules on dogs cover only a few sentences, he said.

Among the potential additions, he said, might be increased fines and rules on fencing for keeping a dog contained in a yard. In each of the recent cases, he said, there was an issue with fencing that allowed dogs to escape and go on the attack, and that’s simply not OK.

One of the residents who was attacked by a dog fell and broke her hip, said DiLorenzo, and he’s taking this initiative on her behalf. The owner of the guilty dog had it taken away until they complied with a number of corrective actions required, he said.

The town’s rules state that “the owner shall keep his dog under restraint at all times and shall not permit such dog to be at large, off the premises or property of the owner, unless said dog is under leash.” Beyond that, it doesn’t say a lot, spelling out little or nothing about fines or enclosures.

DiLorenzo said there are numerous details to discuss related to the rules. It really needs to spell out that if “this goes on, then this happens, this happens, this happens,” he said.

“I don’t care if it’s a poodle, it’s got to be on a leash,” he said. “If you’re going to have them in your yard, you have to have a fence to accommodate them.”

Further complicating enforcement of the rules, he said, is that many people are now using electronic leashes.

DiLorenzo, who lives just a couple of minutes from where the attacks have been happening, said he never knew there were so many dogs in the neighborhood before the last few months of the pandemic.

“My main goal is to send this to ordinance and collectively look at it and see what we can come up with,” he said prior to Tuesday’s meeting.


A 15 year old girl attacked in Georgia one week ago. We have been waiting until all immediately family knew the extent of Joslyn’s injuries, and we were just prepared to share. Everyone has now been notified and we are at a point to where we can emotionally be more open. As we have previously shared Joslyn’s trachea was crushed and lacerated. She had surgery to repair it but it will take weeks to heal. In the meantime a trach has been out in place and she is on a vent to breathe for her. Those murderous dogs also grabbed her hair hard enough to pull her entire scalp off. She only has a small portion of skin left on her head. At this moment she does not have any hair left. She will never have her hair again. There may be implants and things that can be done but it be over a year before those discussions can even begin! She is aware that her hair is missing. In addition, they ripped her left ear off. The doctors have reattached the ear, but they are not sure if it is viable. Only time will tell.