HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO MICROCHIP IDENTIFICATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that one in three pets will become lost during its lifetime. Sadly, ninety per cent of these pets will not return home unless the pet is equipped with some sort of identification. Across the nation, 1,500,000 stray animals are euthanized by animal shelters and animal control contractors. Microchip identification can save the lives of these pets.
Today, national microchip registration companies provide a more affordable and effective alternative for pet owners looking for their lost pets. The legislature further finds that microchip identification is the single most effective way of returning lost pets to their owners. A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and implanted beneath the pet's skin between the shoulders. It contains a unique number used to identify animals, which can be scanned and then used to find the owner's contact information in a registry. Found pets can be taken to a veterinary office, rescue organization or shelter, or even a pet store to have the pet checked for a microchip.
With support from social media, individuals with personal scanners are available in every community and can respond to found pet alerts posted on pet pages. National registries, such the nonprofit Found Animals organization, then send a voicemail, text message, and electronic mail alert to owners when their pet is found. The pet owner is then provided with the contact information of the rescuer or finder. These support networks allow finders to directly return lost pets to their owners in communities where they live, since lost pets are most often found within a mile of their home.
The legislature also finds that this streamlined process effectively bypasses the need for animal control, saves taxpayer money by eliminating the cost of intake and boarding, and avoids the delays and additional stress on the pet from sitting alone in a kennel waiting for its owner.
Therefore, the purpose of this Act is to save pets' lives by requiring all dog and cat owners to microchip their pets.
SECTION 2. Chapter 143, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§143- Microchip identification. (a) An owner shall have a microchip implanted in the owner's dog or cat, and the owner shall register the microchip number and the owner's contact information with a microchip registration company.
(b) When the contact information of the owner of a dog or cat changes, the owner shall provide the new contact information to the applicable microchip registration company no later than thirty days after the change in contact information occurs.
(c) When the owner of a dog or cat changes:
(1) The former owner shall inform the new owner with which microchip registration company the dog or cat's microchip is registered; and
(2) The new owner shall provide the microchip registration company with the new owner's contact information no later than thirty days after the change of ownership occurs.
(d) Every animal control contractor or nonprofit animal rescue organization shall implant a microchip in all stray dogs and cats in its custody that do not have a microchip.
(e) All animal control contractors shall activate the microchip registration company's found pet alerts to notify owners whose pets' microchips are registered with that company.
(f) Veterinary clinics, animal shelters, and other animal rescue organizations that scan found pets for microchips shall release only the chip identification number to the finder upon request."
SECTION 3. Section 143-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:
1. By adding a new definition to be appropriately inserted and to read:
""Microchip" or "microchip identification" means a device that is implanted under the skin of an animal and that contains contact information for the owner of the animal."
2. By amending the definition of "owner" to read:
means any person owning, harboring, or keeping a dog[ ; provided that
if the owner is a minor under the age of eighteen years, the parent, guardian,
or other person having the care, custody, or control of the minor shall be
irrebuttably presumed to be the owner.] or cat; providing care or sustenance
for a dog or cat; or having custody of a dog or cat, whether temporarily or permanently."
SECTION 4. Section 143-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§143-2 License or microchip
required. It shall be unlawful for
any person to own or harbor a dog or cat unless the dog or cat is
licensed or has been implanted with a microchip identification as provided
by this chapter[
,]; provided that the legislative bodies of the
several counties may, by ordinance, dispense with or modify the licensing
requirements of this chapter. This
chapter shall not apply to dogs or cats under the age of three months [ which
do not run at large, dogs in quarantine and] or dogs or cats brought
into the State exclusively for the purpose of entering them in a dog or cat
show or [ dog] exhibition and not [ allowed] allowing them to
run at large."
SECTION 5. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.
SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Microchip Identification; Pets; Dog and Cat Owners
Requires dog and cat owners to microchip their pets, if the pets are not licensed. (HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.