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Hawaii - Senate to Vote on Onerous Dog Breeder Bill on April 12

(Wednesday, April 11, 2012)

House Bill 108 H.D. 1 S.D 2, a very problematic dog breeder bill, is scheduled for a third vote in the Hawaii Senate on April 12. It is important that dog owners immediately contact their state Senators and politely ask them to vote “No” on this burdensome and ineffective legislation.

HB108 would establish requirements that are detrimental to the responsible keeping and welfare of dogs. It would require owners of ten or more intact dogs to pay a $500 biennial license fee, even if they produce and sell no puppies. It would also allow unannounced inspections of their private homes and prohibit ownership of more than 30 intact dogs.

Problematic provisions of HB108 include, but are not limited to:

  • Defines anyone who owns or controls ten or more intact dogs over the age of four months as a “dog breeder,” regardless of the number of litters or dogs produced and sold. An owner or keeper of ten intact dogs who does not produce or sell a single puppy could be defined as a dog breeder and subject to the provisions of the bill.
  • Allows seizure and impoundment of dogs based on infractions that are unrelated to the humane care of dogs.
  • Requires “dog breeders” to pay a $500 biennial license fee. (It also allows counties to set their own fees which could be higher.)
  • Requires individuals deemed to be “dog breeders” to allow unannounced inspections of their premises.
  • Prohibits the ownership of more than 30 intact dogs over the age of one year.
  • Requires dogs to be provided constant and unfettered access to indoor enclosures, and effectively prohibits the use of crates for training and temporary confinement.
  • Requires dogs be provided with “regular exercise” defined as constant and unfettered access to an indoor or outdoor exercise area of a specified size. It may not be advisable or safe for dogs to be allowed unfettered access to the outdoors given weather conditions or possible predators. Likewise, because many owners keep their dogs in their homes, many of those designated as dog breeders by this legislation will be unable to provide hundreds to thousands of square feet of indoor exercise areas. This requirement is overly burdensome and does not serve to improve the welfare of dogs.
  • Requires minimum enclosure sizes and a provision that there be at least twelve inches of headroom above the head of the tallest dog when it is in a regular standing position.
  • Prohibits the breeding of any dog determined by a veterinarian to be “unfit for breeding purposes.” (This term is not defined, so it is unknown which conditions may render an animal unfit or on what criteria a veterinarian may base his examination.)
  • Prohibits the breeding of a dog or bitch older than eight years of age.
  • Provides that anyone operating without a license or licensees in violation of any care or recordkeeping requirements may be charged fines of up to $1000 for each offense.

What You Can Do

Immediately contact state Senators and politely ask them to vote “No” on House Bill 108. Click here for a list of Senate members and their contact information. You can find your Senator by entering your address in the search box at the top of the page.

For more information, contact the AKC Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.

The American Kennel Club strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs, including providing an adequate and nutritious diet, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsible human companionship, and training in appropriate behavior. The AKC supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of dogs without restricting the rights of owners and breeders who properly maintain their dogs.