2013 Legislation

Thank you to all of those who voiced their support throughout the 2013 Legislative Session. Your voice was heard. As a result, all six bills passed final floor votes in both the House and Senate and were signed into law by the Governor.

Contact msteiner@hawaiianhumane.org to get involved with 2014 legislative session.

Prohibition of Inhumane Traps Bill SB6
• Establishes mandatory reporting of cats and dogs captured in a snare or trap to the county animal control agency;
• Prohibits the use of snares, conibears, steel-jawed traps, and foot- and leg-hold traps in residential areas;
• The use of any such contraption would be deemed a misdemeanor.
• Read more
here.

Why we supported it
• These snares and traps are archaic and inhumane; and
• They are not currently in use by any state or federal agency and are prohibited in a number of states,banned in 89 countries and opposed by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association.

Animal Prohibition on Ownership for Felony Cruelty Bill SB9
• Any person convicted of felony animal cruelty would be prohibited from possessing or owning any pet or equine animal for a minimum of five years from the date of the underlying conviction; of 1st degree animal cruelty.
• A “person” includes any individual, corporation, or other legal entity.
• Read more here.

Why we supported it
• This bill will ensure that those who have engaged in abhorrent acts of cruelty toward animals will not lawfully be able to have their own pet animals; and
• It is not only deterrent in nature but also punitive in that those convicted will no longer be afforded the privilege of owning a pet animal.

Pet Deposit Bill SB328

• Modifies the landlord-tenant code of Hawaii Revised Statutes to allow for a landlord and tenant to negotiate a pet security in an amount not to exceed one month’s rent;
• This pet security deposit would not apply to assistance animals.
• Read more here.

Why we supported it
• Nearly 60% of Oahu households own at least one pet;
• With the continuing growth of pets in the community, appropriate housing continues to be limited;
• This bill will, in effect, allow more pet-friendly opportunities as it will address the financial concerns by landlords and property owners alike of pet-related issues.

Mandatory Felony for Animal Cruelty Bill SB978
• Establishes crime of animal cruelty where ten or more pet animals are involved a felony;
• This means where the offense would otherwise be misdemeanor conduct, if the offense involves ten or more animals, then it is automatically a felony.
• Read more here.

Why we supported it
• We have and will continue to strive for stronger sentences and related-penalties on those engaging in unlawful acts of animal cruelty;
• Persons who have been convicted of such abhorrent crimes with multiple, helpless pet-animal victims deserve an appropriate sentence of felony consequences.

Victim Restitution Bill HB 235
• Redefines “victim” in the Hawaii Revised Statutes to include any duly incorporated humane society, who has contracted with the county as the animal control agency, where it impounds, holds, or receives custody of a pet animal involved in an animal cruelty investigation, provided that such costs have not already been contracted and provided by the counties or State;
• In other words, this bill allows for humane societies who hold the county animal control agency contract involved in animal cruelty cases to recoup expenses in caring for the involved animal as long as those costs have not already been paid for by the state or county.

• Read more 
here.

Why we supported it
• In medically and emotionally rehabilitating the 153 parent dogs rescued from the Waimanalo Puppy Mill, as well as the 80 puppies born while in our care, the Hawaiian Humane Society spent about $370,000;
• For those of you who followed the Waimanalo Puppy Mill case, you all witnessed the travesty where the judge refused to order Becker to pay restitution to the Hawaiian Humane Society;
• This bill was ceated by the Honolulu Prosecutor's Office as a direct result of that case.

Charitable Deductions Bill HB430
• Exempts charitable income tax deductions from the itemized deduction caps.
• Read more 
here.

Why we supported it
 As a non-profit organization, donors fund a significant portion of our annual operating budget;
• The vast majority of these donations are not from foundations or corporations but rather individuals;
• A study from the Giving USA Foundation reported that 73% of all charitable donations nationwide come from individuals.