PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Landlords in Rhode Island would be prohibited from requiring tenants to declaw a cat or remove the vocal cords of dogs under legislation approved by state lawmakers.

The legislation from Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio and Democratic House Rep. Patricia Serpa would still allow landlords to decline to rent to pet owners. Ruggerio, a North Providence Democrat, says landlords shouldn't be allowed to demand that tenants subject their pets to what he says are cruel procedures.

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.

The legislation awaits action by Gov. Lincoln Chafee, a Democrat.