Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 3203

       S.D. 1




Honorable Colleen Hanabusa

President of the Senate

Twenty-Fourth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2008

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred S.B. No. 3203 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to criminalize "animal hoarding" as a misdemeanor.


     Specifically, the measure defines "animal hoarding" as the:


(1)  Possession of a large number of animals;


(2)  Failure to provide necessary sustenance for each of those animals; and


(3)  Display of an inability to recognize or understand the nature of, or reckless disregard for, the conditions under which the pet animals are living and the deleterious impact the conditions have on the pet animals' and owner's health and well-being.


     Testimony in support of this bill was submitted by a concerned citizen and a Professor of Social Work at the University of Hawaii.  Testimony in opposition to the bill was received from Animal Rights Hawaii.  Animal Advocate, Inc. submitted comments on the bill.


     Your Committee recognizes that animal hoarding cannot be defined by the specific number of animals hoarded, due to variations across cases and the species being hoarded.  Your Committee notes that a 1999 research study of fifty-four hoarding cases found that the median number of animals hoarded was thirty-nine per case.  In contrast, the American Veterinary Medical Association reported that among the different kinds of pet-owning households in the United States in 2001, Americans owned an average of 1.6 dogs, 2.1 cats, 2.1 birds, and 2.9 horses.


     Your Committee has amended the bill by:


(1)  Characterizing the number of animals that is considered hoarding as "more than a typical number" instead of "a large number"; and


(2)  Establishing state of mind requirements with regard to the elements of the number of animals possessed, and failing to provide necessary sustenance.


     Your Committee finds that these modifications will more effectively tailor the applicability of the offense to the intended class of offenders.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary and Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 3203, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 3203, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary and Labor,