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May 13, 2009

Hawaii Legislature Passes 2 Key Animal Protection Bills

The HSUS, Local Animal Protection Groups Urge Governor to Sign Bills

The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States, Oahu Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Hawaii Dog Foundation and CatFriends praised the Hawaii legislature for its unanimous passage recently of two important animal protection bills.

S.B. 1222, introduced by Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, D-12 (Iwilei, Chinatown, Downtown, Kaka'ako, Ala Moana, Waikiki), strengthens the anti-cruelty statute by prohibiting pet animals from being cruelly or inhumanely confined in kennels or cages, clarifies the offense of depriving a pet of necessary sustenance and prohibits dogs from being restrained, unsupervised, to a stationary object using choke collars that may result in death or injury to the dog.

H.B. 1512, introduced by Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu, D-41 (Waipahu, Village Park, Waikele), allows the court to include pets in protective restraining orders and for pets to be awarded protective custody in family violence cases. Sadly, pets are often the voiceless victims in domestic abuse and family violence situations.

The Senate also adopted a resolution, S.R. 114, requesting the Governor to convene an interim task force to discuss more comprehensive anti-cruelty legislation between sessions.

"We commend the legislature for recognizing pets as family members, deserving of protection from violence and abuse, and for strengthening the cruelty statute by prohibiting the cruel confinement of pet animals," said Inga Gibson, Hawaii state director of The HSUS.

"We look forward to continued collaboration with animal welfare organizations across the state to develop more comprehensive anti-chaining and anti-cruelty measures to better protect Hawaii's people and pets," said Alicia Maluafiti, president of the Oahu Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The bills now await Gov. Linda Lingle's signature.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org. 

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