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February 10, 2012

Hawaii’s Humane Advocates Lobby for Animals at State Capitol

Preventing puppy mills, protecting pets from snaring and cruel trapping and reducing pet overpopulation among issues to be considered by 2012 Legislature

K9 Kokua, Hawaii Military Pets

Animal advocates from across the state lobbied at the state Capitol in Honolulu to urge legislators to strengthen laws to prevent puppy mills and protect pets from inhumane traps and snares. Legislators were also urged to establish a spay/neuter special fund. The Humane Advocacy Day was sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States, and co-hosted by Hawaii Military Pets, K9 Kokua, Hawaii Cat Foundation and West Hawaii Humane Society.

The HSUS also honored Hawaii state Sen. Clayton Hee, D–Kahuku, La'ie, Ka'a'awa, Kane'ohe, and Rep. Angus McKelvey, D–Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kapalua, Maalaea, Kihei, North Kihei, with Humane Legislator Awards. They were recognized for their successful efforts in 2011 to strengthen Hawaii’s anti-dogfighting law, previously the weakest in the nation. Additionally, the awards noted their work on behalf of other animal welfare measures, including protecting dogs and consumers from puppy mills. Both legislators received this same award in 2010 for their landmark efforts to enact the world’s first shark-fin ban, which has since sparked a global initiative with California, Washington, Oregon and Guam following Hawaii’s lead.

“Animals depend on us to be their voice and I’m honored to once again receive The HSUS’ Humane Legislator Award,” said Sen. Hee. “This award represents the collaborative efforts of the community coming together and recognizing that animal issues are people issues and they too deserve protection.”

“We commend Sen. Hee and Rep. McKelvey for their past and continuing dedication to strengthening animal protection laws,” said Inga Gibson, Hawaii state director for The HSUS. “They both serve as leaders in their communities and as a model for other policymakers to follow.”

This session, The HSUS commended Sen. Hee for introducing S.B. 2502, to protect pets from snaring and steel-haw trapping, and S.B. 2208, to create a spay-neuter fund via a voluntary tax check-off contribution. The HSUS thanked Rep. McKelvey for his efforts on H.B. 2161 the Dog Purchaser Protection Act, which would prevent the selling of ill dogs to unknowing consumers. House Judiciary Chairman Gil Keith-Agaran, D-Kahului, Wailuku, Puunene, Spreckelsville, Paia, was commended for introducing the companion puppy mill bill, H.B. 2737, as was Rep. Joey Manahan, D- Sand Island, Mokauea, Kalihi Kai, Kapalama, for introducing H.B. 2726, the companion spay-neuter check off bill.

Last month, The HSUS released a comparison of animal protection laws across the country. Hawaii ranked 38th, up from 45th in 2010, thanks to the passage of the shark-fin bill, anti-animal fighting laws and other animal cruelty statute improvements.

To learn more about pending animal protection bills and their status, please visit The HSUS’ state legislation page for Hawaii.

 

 

Media Contacts Stephanie Twining, 240-751-3943, stwining@humanesociety.org

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