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Humane Animal Advocacy Day Kicks Off in Hawaii

Hawaii animal advocates lobby lawmakers to protect pets and marine wildlife

Hawaii animal protection organizations and residents concerned about animal welfare from across Hawaii converged on the state capitol for Humane Lobby Day in Honolulu on Friday to urge lawmakers to pass better laws to protect Hawaii’s pets and wildlife. Humane Lobby Day is sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States, and co-hosted by the West Hawaii Humane Society, K9 Kokua, Oahu SPCA, Hawaii Cat Foundation, Cat Friends, Kauai Ferals, Equine 808 Horse Rescue, Hui Pono Holoholona, Kauai Humane Society, For the Fishes, Hawaii Island Humane Society and the Big Island’s AdvoCats.

“It is so exciting to see people from across the state come to the capitol and speak up for animals,” said Inga Gibson, The HSUS’ Hawaii state director. “Animal protection is a bipartisan issue that has tremendous support among Hawaii voters, and we must be the voice for the voiceless.”

The HSUS also presented Judiciary Chair Sen. Clayton Hee, D-Kane‘ohe , Ka‘a‘awa, Hau‘ula, La‘ie, Kahuku, Waialua, Hale‘iwa, Wahiawa, Schofield Barracks, Kunia, and Agriculture Chair Rep. Jessica Wooley, D-Kaneohe, Heeia, Ahuimanu, Kahaluu, Haiku Valley, Mokuoloe, with the 2012 Humane Legislator of the Year Award for their past and continued outstanding efforts to better protect Hawaii’s animals.

Humane Lobby Day participants are meeting with their state legislators to urge their support for a number of measures under consideration this session, including bills that would prohibit the use of cruel snare traps in residential areas; set basic welfare standards for large-scale dog breeders; prevent non-veterinarians from performing painful procedures on pets such as ear-cutting; protect Hawaii’s precious marine wildlife, and disallow anyone convicted of animal cruelty from owning animals for a period of time.

Hawaii ranks 35th, up from 43rd in 2010, in The Humane Society of the United States’ 2012 “Humane State Rankings” which grades each state and the District of Columbia based on a wide range of animal protection laws dealing with pets, animal cruelty and fighting, wildlife, animals in research, horses and farm animals. In the past four years, Hawaii has passed some strong animal protection laws, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.

In 2012, The Humane Society of the United States helped pass 74 new laws nationwide to help protect animals.

Media Contact: Pepper Van Tassell: 240-818-3831; pvantassell@humanesociety.org