HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2017
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to offenses involving the confinement or restraint of dogs.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that unattended tethering isolates dogs from positive interactions with humans and often causes dogs to develop unruly and even dangerous behavior, such as excessive barking, aggression, and biting. In addition, the improper use of tethers and other methods of confinement in general can cause deficiencies in meeting the physical and behavioral needs of dogs and lead to injury or death.
The legislature further finds that the cruelty to animals offenses under section 711-1109(1)(f) and (g), Hawaii Revised Statutes, respectively, make it a misdemeanor to confine a pet animal in a kennel or cage in a cruel or inhumane manner, or leave a dog unsupervised while tethered to a stationary object by means of a choke collar, pinch collar, or prong collar. However, the legislature believes that additional and enhanced protections are needed to effectively prevent dog injuries and deaths caused by the improper use of tethers and other methods of confinement, including the establishment of standards to ensure the quality of dog enclosures.
The purpose of this Act is to enhance the safety of dogs by establishing the offense of unlawful confinement or restraint of a dog to enhance related offenses under the cruelty to animals law and provide standards for the use of tethers and enclosures for dogs.
SECTION 2. Chapter 711, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§711- Unlawful confinement or restraint of a dog. (1) Except as otherwise provided in section 711-1109(1), a person commits the offense of unlawful confinement or restraint of a dog if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
(a) Restrains a dog by tethering, attaching, fastening, or tying the dog to any stationary object:
(i) Where the dog is left unsupervised by any person who is at least fourteen years of age;
(ii) Where the dog is under the age of twelve months;
(iii) Where the dog is sick, injured, or in need of veterinary care;
(iv) By use of a collar or harness that:
(A) Is a choke collar, pinch collar, or prong collar;
(B) Is not specifically designed and properly fitted for the restraint of the dog;
(C) Does not exceed the circumference of the dog's neck by at least one inch; or
(D) Is fitted primarily or entirely upon the head of the dog; or
(v) By use of a tether, chain, rope, cord, leash, pulley, running line, trolley system, or similar device that:
(A) Is not specifically designed for restraining dogs;
(B) Is less than five times the length of the dog as measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail or that is not a reasonable length given the size of the dog and available space;
(C) Is of a weight or incorporates weights so disproportionate to the size of the dog as to cause overloading in violation of section 711-1109(1)(a);
(D) Lacks a swivel on both ends or contains tangles;
(E) Fails to allow the dog to move at least eight feet in any direction, excluding the length of the dog as measured from the tip of the its nose to the base of its tail, unless the dimensions would violate clause (F);
(F) Allows the dog to reach the property of another person, public property, or any object or hazard that poses a risk of injury of any type or poses a risk of entanglement;
(G) Exposes the dog to extreme or inclement weather or hazardous environments; or
(H) Denies the dog access to water, shelter, shade, or dry ground free of unsanitary conditions; or
(b) Causes the dog to spend the majority of its time in an enclosure that:
(i) Causes a violation of section 711-1109(1);
(ii) Consists of or includes any electronic system for pet containment that lacks a physical barrier that will prevent persons or other animals from entering the enclosure; or
(iii) Consists of or includes a crate container designed for the transport of a live dog.
(2) This section shall not apply to the use of a restraint on a dog:
(a) While the owner of the dog or another person, with the owner's consent, is walking the dog by means of a handheld leash designed specifically for dogs and intended to be held by the owner or person while it is attached to the dog's collar or harness. As used in this paragraph, "owner" means any person, responsible party, or any legal entity, including a corporation, partnership, firm, or trust, that owns, possesses, harbors, keeps, or has custody or permanent or temporary control of a dog; or
(b) While the dog is engaged in a supervised activity where the restraint is reasonably necessary for the safety of the dog.
(3) Unlawful confinement or restraint of a dog:
(a) Shall be a violation for a first offense, and upon conviction thereof the defendant shall be fined up to $90; provided that the court shall waive the imposition of the fine if the defendant achieves compliance with this section and section 711-1109(1) within ninety days of the violation;
(b) Shall be a petty misdemeanor for a second offense, punishable by a fine of up to $500, or imprisonment not exceeding thirty days, or both; and
(c) Shall be a misdemeanor for a third or subsequent offense, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both,
except as otherwise provided in subsection (4).
(4) For any conviction under this section, if as a result of the commission of the offense the defendant causes or allows to occur serious bodily injury to the dog or the death of the dog, the defendant shall be guilty of a class C felony pursuant to section 711-1108.5(1)(a)."
SECTION 3. Section 711-1109, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsections (1) and (2) to read as follows:
"(1) A person commits the offense of cruelty to animals in the second degree if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
(a) Overdrives, overloads, tortures, torments, beats, causes substantial bodily injury to, or starves any animal, or causes the overdriving, overloading, torture, torment, beating, or starving of any animal;
(b) Deprives a pet animal of necessary sustenance or
such] the deprivation;
(c) Mutilates, poisons, or kills without need any animal other than insects, vermin, or other pests; provided that the handling or extermination of any insect, vermin, or other pest is conducted in accordance with standard and acceptable pest control practices and all applicable laws and regulations;
(d) Keeps, uses, or in any way is connected with or interested in the management of, or receives money for the admission of any person to, any place kept or used for the purpose of fighting or baiting any bull, bear, cock, or other animal, and includes every person who encourages, aids, or assists therein, or who permits or suffers any place to be so kept or used;
(e) Carries or causes to be carried, in or upon any vehicle or other conveyance, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner;
(f) Confines or causes to be confined, in a kennel or cage, any pet animal in a cruel or inhumane manner; or
(g) Tethers, fastens, ties, or restrains a
dog to a doghouse, tree, fence, or any other stationary object by means of a
choke collar, pinch collar, or prong collar; provided that a person is not
prohibited from using such restraints when walking a dog with a hand-held leash
or while a dog is engaged in a supervised activity; or (h)] (g) Assists another in the
commission of any act specified in [ subsections] subsection
(1)(a) through [ (1)(g).] (1)(f).
(2) Subsection (1)(a), (b), (c), (e), (f), and
, and (h)] shall not apply to:
(a) Accepted veterinary practices;
(b) Activities carried on for scientific research governed by standards of accepted educational or medicinal practices; or
(c) Pest control operations conducted pursuant to chapter 149A by a pest control operator licensed pursuant to chapter 460J, if the pest control is performed under a written contract."
SECTION 4. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.
SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Crime; Cruelty to Animals; Unlawful Confinement or Restraint of Dogs
Establishes the criminal offense of unlawful confinement or restraint of a dog to enhance related offenses under the cruelty to animals law and provide standards for the use of tethers and enclosures for dogs.
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.