THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2494

TWENTY-SIXTH LEGISLATURE, 2012

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

Proposed

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO ANIMAL CRUELTY.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


PART I

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that an estimated forty-three per cent of households in Hawaii include a dog. Profit-driven breeding is prevalent in Hawaii and recent research by the Hawaiian Humane Society reveals that on Oahu, during a two-week period in November, over three hundred sixty puppies were available for sale. When projected over a one-year period, revenues from sales of dogs may be equal to or exceed $9,400,000.

The legislature further finds that a law is needed to ensure that dogs at large-scale breeding facilities receive sanitary living conditions, proper and timely medical care, the ability to move freely at least once per day, and adequate shelter from the elements. Existing state and federal laws regarding the care and husbandry of dogs inadequately regulate large-scale breeding facilities in Hawaii. Inadequate regulation places an unfair fiscal burden on the county and state taxpayers, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations, whose resources contribute to the care of dogs discarded or abused by large-scale breeding facilities.

The purpose of this part is to:

(1) Require owners of ten or more dogs over the age of four months with intact sexual organs to meet minimum standards of care to ensure the proper treatment and care of the dogs and the dogs' offspring;

(2) Prohibit the ownership or custody of more than thirty dogs over the age of one year with intact sexual organs; and

(3) Require owners of ten or more dogs over the age of four months with intact sexual organs to maintain specific written records of each dog for a specified period.

SECTION 2. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Chapter

Prevention of Cruelty To Dogs

   -1 Definitions. As used in this chapter:

"Dog" means any animal that is wholly or in part of the subspecies Canis lupus familiaris.

"Litter" means one or more dogs that are born to the same mother at the same time.

"Person" means any individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, limited liability company, corporation, estate, trust, receiver, or syndicate; provided that the term shall not include:

(1) An animal control or welfare agency tax exempt under title 26 United States Code section 501(c)(3);

(2) A person who provides care for dogs at the request of a government agency; or

(3) A veterinary clinic.

"Regular exercise" means providing the dog with constant and unfettered access to an outdoor or indoor exercise area that provides at least four times the square footage of indoor floor space required for each dog pursuant to paragraph (3) of the definition of "sufficient housing or shelter".

"Sufficient food and clean water" means access to adequate amounts of appropriately nutritious food to maintain good health; and continuous access to potable water that is substantially free from debris, feces, algae, and other contaminants.

"Sufficient housing or shelter" means constant and unfettered access to an indoor enclosure that:

(1) Is sufficiently ventilated at all times to minimize odors, drafts, and ammonia levels, and to prevent moisture condensation;

(2) Has a means of fire suppression, such as functioning fire extinguishers, located within forty feet of the cage or enclosure;

(3) Has sufficient lighting to allow for observation of the dogs at any time of day or night;

(4) Is not placed more than forty-two inches above the floor;

(5) Is not stacked or otherwise placed on top of or below another animal's cage or primary enclosure; and

(6) Is cleaned at least once a day of feces, hair, dirt, debris, and food waste.

"Sufficient space for movement" means the following:

(1) Sufficient indoor space for each dog to lie down and fully extend limbs and stretch freely without touching the sides of the enclosure or another dog, and to turn in a complete circle without any impediments, including a tether;

(2) At least twelve inches of headroom above the head of the tallest dog in the enclosure when it is in a normal standing position; and

(3) A square footage that includes at least:

(A) Twelve square feet of indoor floor space for each dog that is no more than twenty-five inches in length;

(B) Twenty square feet of indoor floor space for each dog that is no less than twenty-five inches and no more than thirty-five inches in length; and

(C) Thirty square feet of indoor floor space for each dog that is more than thirty-five inches in length;

provided that the length of the dog shall be measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail.

"Sufficient veterinary care" means, at minimum:

(1) An examination performed at least once a year by a veterinarian licensed under chapter 471;

(2) Prompt treatment of any illness or injury by a veterinarian licensed under chapter 471; and

(3) Humane euthanasia, when needed, by a veterinarian licensed under chapter 471, using lawful techniques deemed acceptable by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

   -2 Limit on number of dogs. No person shall own, possess, control, or otherwise have charge or custody of more than thirty dogs, with intact sexual organs and over the age of one year, at any time.

   -3 Standard of care; recordkeeping. (a) Any person who owns, possesses, controls, or otherwise has charge or custody of more than ten dogs over the age of four months with intact sexual organs shall provide the following for each dog:

(1) Regular exercise;

(2) Sufficient food and clean water;

(3) Sufficient housing or shelter;

(4) Sufficient space for movement;

(5) Sufficient veterinary care; and

(6) A microchip implanted under the skin;

provided that no microchip shall be implanted in any dog aged less than four months.

(b) No person who owns, possesses, controls, or otherwise has charge or custody of more than ten dogs over the age of four months with intact sexual organs shall breed any dog unless the dog is between the ages of twelve months and eight years of age. No dog shall be bred to produce more than two litters in any eighteen month period. No person who owns, possesses, controls, or otherwise has charge or custody of more than ten dogs over the age of four months with intact sexual organs shall breed any dog determined by a veterinarian to be unfit for breeding purposes.

(c) Any person who owns, possesses, controls, or otherwise has charge or custody of more than ten dogs over the age of four months with intact sexual organs shall maintain a record for each dog and the dog's offspring including the following information:

(1) Each breeding dog shall be identified by the implantation of a microchip, and each dog's health records shall accurately record the appropriate identification;

(2) All veterinary treatment, including the following:

(A) A record of each inoculation and de-worming treatment, if any, including the dates and types of treatments administered; and

(B) A record of any veterinary treatments or medications received;

(3) The date of birth of the dog or, if the date of birth is unknown, the date the person acquired possession, control, or charge of the dog and the source of the dog;

(4) The dates on which the dog has been bred;

(5) For a female, the number of dogs in each litter produced; and

(6) The disposition the person makes of each dog possessed by, controlled by, or in the charge of the person, including the date of disposition, manner of disposition, and the name and address information for any person taking possession, control or charge of a dog.

Records shall be retained for at least three years following the death of the dog or a date on which the person permanently ceased to have possession or control of the dog.

   -4 Prohibitions on certain types of dogs in the same enclosure. No person who owns, possesses, controls, or otherwise has charge or custody of more than ten dogs over the age of four months with intact sexual organs shall place:

(1) A dog with a vicious or aggressive disposition in an enclosure with another dog, except for breeding purposes;

(2) Breeding females in heat in the same enclosure at the same time with sexually mature males, except for breeding purposes;

(3) Breeding females and their litters in the same enclosure at the same time with other adult dogs; and

(4) Puppies aged twelve weeks or younger in the same enclosure at the same time with other adult dogs, other than the dam or foster dam, unless under immediate and constant supervision.

   -5 Penalty. Any person who violates section    -2,    -3, or    -4 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Each violation shall constitute a separate offense. If the circumstances warrant a charge of cruelty to animals in the second degree prescribed under section 711-1109, the defendant may be charged with violating that section instead.

   -6 Severability. Any violation of section    -2,    ‑3, or    -4 shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any other state and federal laws protecting animal welfare. Sections    -2,    -3, and    -4 shall not be construed to limit any state law, rule, or regulation protecting the welfare of animals, nor shall anything in these sections prevent a local governing body from adopting and enforcing its own animal welfare laws and regulations in addition to these sections."

PART II

SECTION 3. The legislature finds that Hawaii does not currently regulate the breeding of dogs. However, in early 2011, the discovery of a puppy mill in Waimanalo focused attention on dog breeders and the potential for cruel and inhumane conditions.

The legislature further finds the Animal Welfare Act was first enacted by Congress in 1966. This federal law requires licensure and regulation of certain types of businesses that fall under the category of animal dealers. However, the law exempts businesses, such as the Waimanalo puppy mill, that fall under certain categories, including retail pet stores, retail chain stores, hobby breeders, and direct sales.

During the regular session of 2011, S.B. No. 1522, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, was introduced and heard throughout the legislative process. This measure proposed that the department of commerce and consumer affairs issue licenses to large-scale dog breeders after the breeders meet certain licensure requirements, and authorized the department's director to enforce the new law. S.C.R. No. 111, S.D. 1, was also adopted during the regular session of 2011. This resolution directed the auditor to conduct a sunrise review of the regulation of large-scale dog breeders and dog breeding facilities, as proposed under S.B. No. 1522, S.D. 2, H.D. 1.

In October 2011, the office of the auditor issued its corresponding report. According to the auditor's report, S.B. No. 1522, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, did not meet the criteria for regulation of large-scale dog breeders through the State's regulatory agency. However, the report did cite other alternatives that could be used to protect dogs, including laws in other states, the American Veterinary Medical Association's model law, a county-based regulatory model, and puppy lemon laws.

In considering the strengths of various states' laws and the most appropriate structure for regulating dog breeders, the legislature finds merit in authorizing counties to conduct or contract for inspections and to implement minimum requirements for the housing and treatment of breeding dogs. The counties are presently charged with issuing dog licenses and regulating animals pursuant to chapter 143, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

The legislature also finds that the local humane societies designated by the counties currently have in place the structure, personnel, and contracts with humane organizations to handle animal control. In contrast, the legislature understands that the department of commerce and consumer affairs is not equipped to administer regulation of animal breeders and recognizes that the department of agriculture's resources are also strained by its existing duties.

The legislature additionally finds that there is not reliable information on the number and size of large-scale dog breeders in the State. While it is believed that Oahu has approximately twenty large-scale dog breeders and the island of Hawaii has approximately ten, it is also believed that Maui and Kauai do not have any.

The legislature finds that regulation at the county level is the most reasonable approach in addressing dog breeders. The legislature understands that county officials may have concerns associated with the costs and responsibility of regulating dog breeders. However, the legislature notes that the Hawaiian Humane Society on Oahu has indicated a willingness to assist with this responsibility at no extra cost to the State. The legislature hopes that the Hawaiian Humane Society will be equally supportive of dog breeder regulations if handled on a county level.

The purpose of this part is to:

(1) Require the licensing of dog breeders to ensure that every dog under their care is provided with sufficient food and clean water, sufficient shelter from the elements, necessary veterinary care, sufficient space, and regular exercise, among other things;

(2) Allow each county or its contracted local humane society the flexibility to assess the county's own situation, determine whether the need for regulation exists, and develop appropriate rules for housing and treatment of dogs by dog breeders, if necessary; and

(3) Require each county or its contracted local humane society to assess appropriate license fees for dog breeders and to pursue civil penalties for noncompliant dog breeders.

SECTION 4. Chapter 143, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"143-   Dog breeders; license required; fees; minimum requirements; premises available for inspection; civil penalties. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to own or operate as a dog breeder unless the person obtains a valid license as a dog breeder pursuant to this chapter.

(b) Each county council shall have the power to fix license fees for dog breeders on a biennial basis. Until and unless otherwise provided by ordinance, the biennial license fee for each dog breeder shall be $500. Any person operating as a dog breeder shall pay the license fee to the director of finance of the county in which the breeder operation is located. The license fee shall be due and payable on January 2 of every second year and shall be paid before March 11 of every second year, or within thirty days after becoming subject to this chapter. The full amount of the fee shall be paid for any fraction of the license period for which a license is issued. All moneys received by the director of finance under this chapter shall be paid into the general fund of each county.

(c) The minimum standards regarding the care, treatment, and proper recordkeeping requirements in dog breeding operations shall be the same as prescribed under section    -3.

(d) A dog breeder licensee shall make its premises available for unannounced inspection by the county or the county's contracted designee, pursuant to sections 143-15 and 143-16, during regular business hours.

(e) Any person who operates as a dog breeder without a license shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000; provided that each day of a violation shall be considered a separate offense. Any failure to comply with the standards and recordkeeping requirements prescribed under section    ‑3 shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation."

SECTION 5. Section 143-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding three new definitions to be appropriately inserted and to read as follows:

""Dog breeder" means any person who owns, possesses, controls, or otherwise has charge or custody of more than ten dogs over the age of four months with intact sexual organs.

"Person" means any individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, limited liability company, corporation, estate, trust, receiver, or syndicate; provided that the term shall not include:

(1) An animal control or welfare agency tax exempt under title 26 United States Code section 501(c)(3);

(2) A person who provides care for dogs at the request of a government agency; or

(3) A veterinary clinic.

"Premises" means the location of property, whether private or public, upon which buildings, yards, kennels, pens, and cages are used by a dog breeder in the usual course of business."

SECTION 6. Section 143-15, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"143-15 Contracts for seizing and impounding dogs. Any county may contract with any society or organization formed for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or similar dog protective organization, for [the]:

(1) The seizure and impounding of all unlicensed dogs, [and for the] dogs owned by a dog breeder not in compliance with this chapter and any rules adopted pursuant to this chapter, and dogs owned by a person acting in the capacity of or engaged in the business of a dog breeder within the county without a dog breeder license obtained under and in compliance with this chapter and any rules adopted pursuant to this chapter;

(2) The maintenance of a shelter or pound for [unlicensed] seized dogs, and for lost, strayed, and homeless dogs[, and for the]; and

(3) The destruction or other disposition of seized dogs not redeemed as provided in this chapter.

The county may prescribe in the contract the manner in which the work is to be done by the society or organization and it may also direct the disposition to be made of all dogs seized pursuant to this chapter."

PART III

SECTION 7. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 8. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 9. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.


 


 

Report Title:

Animal Cruelty; Dog Breeders; Licensing; Penalties; Counties

 

Description:

Requires specified persons who own, control, or have custody or control of ten or more dogs over age four months with intact sexual organs to meet minimum standards of care to ensure the proper treatment and care of dogs and the dogs' offspring. Prohibits any person from owning or having custody of more than thirty dogs over age of one year with intact sexual organs. Requires specified persons to maintain specific records for each dog for at least three years following the death of the dog or a date on which the person permanently ceased to have possession or control of the dog. Prohibits certain types of dogs in the same enclosure. Establishes penalties. Requires the licensing of dog breeders; authorizes each county to develop license requirements and fees; establishes minimum standards of care; authorizes each county to pursue civil penalties for noncompliant dog breeders. (Proposed SD1)

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.