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Friday, February 01, 2019

The Hawaii House Agriculture Committee is scheduled to consider several dog-related bills at its meeting on Friday, February 8, 2019.  The American Kennel Club (AKC) and our Hawaii federation, the Pacific Pet Alliance, encourage all concerned Hawaiian dog breeders and owners to contact the committee members and express their views before Friday, February 8.

AKC Supports/Supports In-Part/Conditionally Supports: 

  • House Bill 24 – This bill seeks to create the crime of sexual assault of an animal, and to provide for impoundment and forfeiture of a sexually-assaulted animal. It explicitly provides that the practices of veterinary medicine, artificial insemination of animals for the purpose of procreation, animal husbandry, or conformation judging are not to be considered sexual assault of an animal.  The AKC supports HB 24 as currently worded.
  • House Bill 681 – This bill seeks to allow dogs in restaurants at the owner’s or manager’s discretion provided that certain conditions are met, and provides that patrons who are found to misrepresent a dog as a service animal to circumvent the bill’s requirements shall be subject to fines between $100 and $250 for a first violation, and not less than $500 for second and subsequent violations, and other civil remedy penalties available.

Because AKC supports the traditional legal treatment of animals as property, the AKC conditionally supports HB 681 if amended to delete a provision in the bill’s findings referencing “…the status of pets as family members.”

  • House Bill 1281 – This bill seeks to prohibit specific types of confinement of certain food animals. The bill also seeks to prohibit the slaughtering of cats and dogs for human consumption.  The AKC supports HB 1281 as it applies to banning the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption.

AKC Opposes: 

  • House Bill 930 – AKC opposes this measure which seeks to prohibit future pet stores from selling purpose-bred dogs, cats, and rabbits and to require that retailers only sell those that are obtained from certain arbitrarily-defined “humane” sources.

The American Kennel Club emphatically supports freedom of choice in selecting a pet. AKC actively promotes efforts to ensure that people are educated, understand the demands of responsible ownership and have access to a pet that is right for them. AKC strongly opposes any measure that restricts choice by compelling people and/or retailers to obtain pets solely from shelter or rescue distributors.

Read Why Pet Shop Laws Affect You.

Other animal-related bills to be considered on Friday, February 8: 

  • House Bill 127 – This bill would clarify that allowing an animal under a person’s care or control to drop fecal matter on public or private property and not immediately cleaning up after the animal as littering, subject to a civil penalty of $500 per occurrence. As provided in current law, it shall be an affirmative defense that the person had consent of the owner in control of the property at the time of the occurrence.
  • House Bill 200 – This bill is the original version of House Bill 2072 of 2018. As currently written, the bill would provide clarification on what constitutes humane tethering. Dogs under six months of age may not be tethered unless supervised.  Dogs may not be tethered in a configuration that entangles or endangers the dog, or that prevents the dog from obtaining necessary sustenance.  Tethers may not be less than 10 feet in length, unless supervised; and may not be a tow or log chain, and may not be disproportionate to the size or weight of the dog to such extent that the free movement of the dog within the area allowed by the tether is inhibited.  HB 200 also provides tethering-specific criminal penalties.

In 2018, this bill failed to reach a compromise in conference committee after the House and Senate disagreed on whether to include differing penalties for tethering.

  • House Bill 716 – This bill seeks to prohibit the importation of dangerous wild animals for exhibition in a circus, carnival, or other live animal acts or performances.
  • House Bill 1162 – This bill seeks to create operational standards for pet boarding facilities in Hawaii. Pet boarding facilities are defined in the bill as any lot, building, structure, enclosure, or premises, or a portion thereof, whereupon four or more pets in any combination are boarded at the request of, and in exchange for consideration provided by, the respective owners of the pets. It should be noted that county animal control agencies, SPCAs, humane societies that contract with counties, or veterinary facilities are excluded from these standards.

Hawaii residents are encouraged to contact the members of the House Agriculture Committee and respectfully express any concerns they have with the bills listed above before their meeting on Friday, February 8.

Representative Richard P. Creagan, Chair (Dist. 5 – Naalehu, Ocean View, Capt. Cook, Kealakekua, Kailua-Kona)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 427
phone: 808-586-9605
fax: 808-586-9608

Representative Lynn DeCoite, Vice Chair (Dist. 13 – Haiku, Hana, Kaupo, Kipahulu, Nahiku, Paia, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Molokini)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 441
phone: 808-586-6790
fax: 808-586-6779

Representative Rida Cabanilla Arakawa (Dist. 41 – Ewa, Ewa Beach, Ewa Gentry, Ewa Villages, Hoakalei, Ocean Pointe)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 317
phone: 808-586-6080
fax: 808-586-6081

Representative Romy M. Cachola (Dist. 30 – Kalihi Kai, Sand Island, Hickam, Pearl Harbor, Ford Island, Halawa Valley Estate)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 406
phone: 808-586-6010
fax: 808-586-6011

Representative Daniel Holt (Dist. 29 – Kalihi, Palama, Iwilei, Chinatown)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 333
phone: 808-586-6180
fax: 808-586-6189

Representative Richard H.K. Onishi (Dist 3 – Hilo, Keaau, Kurtistown, Volcano)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 404
phone: 808-586-6120
fax: 808-586-6121

Representative Amy A. Perruso (Dist. 46 – Wahiawa, Whitmore Village, Launani Valley)
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 303
phone: 808-586-6700
fax: 808-586-6702

Representative Val Okimoto (Dist. 36 – Mililani Mauka, Mililani)
Hawaii State Capitol
Room 319
phone: 808-586-9460
fax: 808-586-9466

The AKC will provide additional updates on pending Hawaii legislation as developments warrant.  For more information, contact AKC Government Relations at; or the Pacific Pet Alliance at