THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

635

TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2013

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

H.D. 3

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO ANIMAL CRUELTY.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Hawaii's existing penal code does not adequately address situations in which an offender injures or kills an animal used by a law enforcement agency or corrections facility. Dogs, horses, and other animals are specifically trained to assist law enforcement in the detection of criminal activity, enforcement of laws, or the apprehension of criminal offenders. Although the death or serious injury of a law enforcement animal is not yet a serious problem in Hawaii, it has become a problem across the country. During the last forty years, one hundred thirty-nine police dogs have been killed in the line of duty by firearms. Nationally, law enforcement animals are increasingly used on a daily basis to assist officers in the field to safely complete their daily activities, to search for narcotics and explosives, and in search and rescue operations. Law enforcement agencies have come to rely upon trained animals to address some of the most dangerous assignments. In 2000, the federal government enacted the Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection Act, which recognized the need to provide legal protection to the animals that work with law enforcement personnel every day to keep communities safe. Forty-four states and one territory have laws that protect law enforcement animals, which include police dogs, police horses, and fire dogs. Similar protections are needed to protect the law enforcement animals that work hard every day to keep Hawaii's communities safe.

The purpose of this Act is to protect law enforcement animals by establishing criminal offenses that address varying levels of injury caused to these animals. Specifically, this Act makes it a:

(1) Felony to intentionally or knowingly cause the death of or substantial bodily injury to a law enforcement animal; and

(2) Misdemeanor to intentionally or knowingly cause bodily injury to or recklessly cause the death of or substantial bodily injury to a law enforcement animal.

SECTION 2. Chapter 711, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding two new sections to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"711- Cruelty to a law enforcement animal in the first degree. (1) A person commits the offense of cruelty to a law enforcement animal in the first degree if the person intentionally or knowingly causes substantial bodily injury to or the death of the law enforcement animal, including by striking, beating, kicking, cutting, stabbing, shooting, or administering any type of harmful substance or poison to any law enforcement animal, while the animal is:

(a) Performing its duties as a law enforcement animal; and

(b) Under the control of any law enforcement officer or corrections officer.

(2) Subsection (1) 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) Cropping or docking as customarily practiced.

(3) It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this section that the law enforcement animal was handled by the law enforcement or corrections agency in a manner contrary to:

(a) Well-recognized national handling procedures; or

(b) The policies and procedures of the applicable law enforcement or corrections agency.

(4) In addition to any penalty imposed for a conviction under this section, the court shall order a defendant convicted on the offense of cruelty to a law enforcement animal in the first degree to make restitution to the applicable law enforcement or corrections agency or any other person who owns or handles the law enforcement animal for any:

(a) Veterinary bills and other medical costs for the law enforcement animal;

(b) Replacement costs if the law enforcement animal is killed, disabled, or destroyed;

(c) Lost wages for the law enforcement animal's handler; or

(d) Any other costs relating to any violation of this section.

(5) Cruelty to a law enforcement animal in the first degree is a class C felony.

711- Cruelty to a law enforcement animal in the second degree. (1) A person commits the offense of cruelty to a law enforcement animal in the second degree if the person:

(a) Intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to a law enforcement animal by any means; or

(b) Recklessly causes substantial bodily injury or death to a law enforcement animal by any means,

while the animal is performing its duties as a law enforcement animal and is under the control of any law enforcement officer or corrections officer.

(2) Subsection (1) 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) Cropping or docking as customarily practiced.

(3) It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this section that the law enforcement animal was handled by the law enforcement or corrections agency in a manner contrary to:

(a) Well-recognized national handling procedures; or

(b) The policies and procedures of the applicable law enforcement or corrections agency.

(4) In addition to any penalty imposed for a conviction under this section, the court shall order a defendant convicted of the offense of cruelty to a law enforcement animal in the second degree to make restitution to the applicable law enforcement or corrections agency or any other person who owns or handles the law enforcement animal for any:

(a) Veterinary bills and other medical costs for the law enforcement animal;

(b) Replacement costs if the law enforcement animal is killed, disabled, or destroyed;

(c) Lost wages for the law enforcement animal's handler; or

(d) Any other costs relating to any violation of this section.

(5) Cruelty to a law enforcement animal in the second degree is a misdemeanor."

SECTION 3. Section 711-1100, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding three new definitions to be appropriately inserted and to read as follows:

""Bodily injury" shall have the same meaning as in section 707-700.

"Law enforcement animal" means any dog, horse, or other animal used by any law enforcement or corrections agency in the areas of tracking, suspect apprehension, victim assistance, crowd control, drug detection, explosives detection, courthouse assistance, search and rescue, or for any other law enforcement or corrections purpose.

"Substantial bodily injury" shall have the same meaning as in section 707-700."

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. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2030.


Report Title:

Crime; Animal Cruelty; Law Enforcement and Corrections Animals

 

Description:

Establishes felony and misdemeanor offenses for injuring or killing an animal engaged in law enforcement or corrections activities. Provides for an affirmative defense. Effective July 1, 2030. (SB635 HD3)

 

 

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