Committees in the Hawai’i State Legislature are scheduled to consider dog-related bills on Tuesday, February 13, 2024. Hawai’i residents are encouraged to review the bills listed below and share concerns with the appropriate committee members.
- Senate Bill 2874 seeks to establish a non-refundable income tax credit for residential landlords who lease a unit to a tenant with a pet for at least six months. The American Kennel Club (AKC) supports the bill because providing the proposed incentives for housing providers may encourage additional housing providers to make their properties available for tenants who own pets, thereby helping keep dogs with their owners when housing changes occur, instead of being surrendered to a local shelter or rescue. The current version of the bill does not yet include a specific amount of the tax credit.
SB 2874 is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee at 9:20AM on Tuesday, February 13. To submit testimony, go to the SB 2874 bill page on the Hawai’i State Legislature website and click Submit Testimony.
- Senate Bill 2120 seeks to require retail pet stores that sell pet animals (dogs, cats, domesticated rabbits, guinea pigs, domesticated pigs, or caged birds) to maintain records regarding the source and medical history of the animals sold; and to provide records to pet purchasers, and, upon request, to county law enforcement agencies. SB 2120 would also limit any retail pet store from selling any pet animal unless it was in operation in the state before January 1, 2025, provided it operates in the same location under the same ownership as of that date.
AKC does not oppose the records requirements in SB 2120, but opposes SB 2120’s pet shop sourcing restrictions as they are proven to not address any actual issues of cruelty or negligence, and because they are likely to cause harm to responsible Hawai’i pet purchasers who seek a quality purpose-bred pet but who may not have access to a local breeder or who do not want to wait long periods for an available puppy from a local breeder. AKC believes Hawai’i’s pet purchasers would be better served by the state enacting consumer protection laws that provide for relief if a dog is found to have been unfit for sale due to an undisclosed illness or hereditary/congenital health issue. Click here for more information, including a short video, on this important issue.
SB 2120 is scheduled to be considered in a joint hearing by the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee and the Senate Agriculture and Environment Committee at 9:10AM on Tuesday, February 13. To submit testimony in opposition to the bill, go to the SB 2120 bill page and click Submit Testimony.
- Senate Bill 2562 seeks to prohibit animal owners and their employees from performing any surgical procedures on the owner’s dog(s).
It is generally illegal in Hawai’i for a person who is not a veterinarian to practice veterinary medicine. However, Hawai’i law provides exceptions to that rule, including one for owners of any animal(s) and their full-time, regular employees, who are permitted to care for and treat any animals belonging to the owner. Senate Bill 2562 would further clarify that owners and their employees shall not perform any surgical procedure on any dog, including C-sections, ear cropping, tail docking, devocalizations, dewclaw removals, or castrations via banding.
Should the bill be enacted as introduced, veterinarians would still be permitted to perform the procedures listed. Additionally, SB 2562 does not seek to prohibit owners from performing routine care procedures on their animals, including nail trimming and ear and dental cleaning.
SB 2562 is also scheduled to be considered in a joint hearing by the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee and the Senate Agriculture and Environment Committee at 9:10AM on Tuesday, February 13. To submit testimony, go to the SB 2562 bill page and click Submit Testimony.
- Senate Bill 2094 seeks to require the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to establish a one-year pilot program to allow inmates incarcerated at the women’s community correctional center to foster pets while incarcerated. The bill is scheduled to be considered by the Seante Ways and Means Committee at 10:05AM on Tuesday, February 13. To submit testimony, go to the SB 2094 bill page and click Submit Testimony.
AKC Government Relations (GR) will provide updates on these bills as developments warrant. For more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.