Hawaii Considers Two Bills Affecting Dog Owners

Legislators introduce a ban on dog tethering and ownership of pit bulls.

Posted: January 30, 2009, 5 a.m. EST

Hawaii legislators have introduced two bills affecting dog owners. One measure would prohibit the tethering of dogs to stationary objects and the other would prohibit ownership of a pit bull.

The Senate Committee on Water, Land, and Agriculture & Hawaiian Affairs scheduled a public hearing on the tethering bill, Senate Bill 30, for Friday, Jan. 30, at 3 p.m.

Senate Bill 30 states that the practice of animal tethering causes many pets to suffer needlessly and increases the risk of an animal posing a danger to the public. If passed, the bill would make it illegal to tether, fasten, chain, tie, or restrain a dog to a doghouse, tree, fence, or any other stationary object.

The proposed legislation does make exceptions. A dog may be tethered pursuant to the requirements of a camping or recreational area. In addition, a person can tether a dog for a “reasonable” period of time in order to complete a temporary task. A reasonable period is defined not exceeding three hours in a 24-hour period.

Other exceptions are made for herding cattle or livestock, cultivating agricultural products, and activity conducted pursuant to a valid state license that is associated with the use or presence of a dog.

Acceptable means of tethering are provided in the proposed legislation. According to the bill, a person may attach a dog to a running line, pulley, or trolley system, so long as the dog is not attached by means of a choke collar or pinch collar.

If the bill is approved, those found in violation would be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Senate Bill 70, which has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Government Operations, would make it a misdemeanor to own, possess, or sell a pit bull. “Pit bull” is defined as any dog that is an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one or more of those breeds.

It also defines a pit bull as any dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics which substantially conform to standards established by the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club for any of those breeds.

A public hearing for Senate Bill 70 has not been scheduled at this point.


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Mammamia   Mililani, HI

2/15/2009 10:24:47 PM

How sad dogs and owners can't enjoy exercise in a normal way anymore. People on the beach have yelled at and cussed about my American Bulldog in front of my 5 year old. Dogs help humans emotionally and may lenghthen lives, and bans are what they get in return. Shall we ban races of theives, like we do breeds? How about punishing owners, instead of the MANY nice, innocent dogs that are currently considered for banning in HI, and not in parks and on trails alone, but entirely? I am confused and saddened by the meaness of humans. Two strange ladies actually took my picture while I was walking my dog (he looks like the "Homeward Bound" dog). They said he is a bad dog that needs banning, then they peeled out fast away from me, and SWERVED while I was alone on my neighborhood sidewalk. Since someone I deeply cared about died in a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver, for fifteen years I've paid close attention to statistical injuries/ fatalities. Shall we ban vehicles, too? Are all of you really ready to do that yet? Honestly? Because according to statistics, you people all have bigger fights to concern yourself with between vehicle accidents and health issues, than to judge all dogs and owners, and what may occur with them. The numbers of bad dog incidents sound horrible, until you compare them to good dogs and happy people with them, and compare them to other kinds of injuries. Have you nothing better than to make all these comments without analyzation? Another odd thing -the most aggressive breeds I've known have never been talked about for banning in HI - German Sheppards, Chows, Chihuhuas, Dobermans, and the MEANEST I ever came across - Weenie dogs and a GOLDEN RETRIEVER/ LAB mix physically hurt me more than any other. All dogs and mannerisms are different, just as people. I am sorry some people are ignorant about these creatures, but that doesn't make the cruelty to the dogs okay. Do your research people. Don't be ignorantly biased and fit a stereo-type of whatever is making you think so sadly, ridiculously, cruelly toward dogs. I am getting afraid of people harming myself or family over this issue. What is wrong with people, and where in HI is the aloha for animals??? Next people will threaten me if I ever own a bird, and don't keep it on a leash in my backyard. More families in HI have dogs than those who don't, if what I've read online is true. I wish some of YOU would have to tell my 5 year old why his dog is getting banned. He loves and plays with his 110 lb. dog almost every day. BTW - an American Bulldog has nothing to do with a pitbull in their breeding, unless people purposefully breed the two together. The very ignorant people who claim these dogs were bred for killing - WOW. They were bred for herding/ hunting. Please, do your research before speaking on matters, and avoid looking and feeling dumb. I empathize with people, and I agree something needs to be done about the many owners in HI raising fighting dogs.

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Galadriel   Lothlorien, ME

1/30/2009 11:06:24 PM

I completely disagree.

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karen   little rock, AR

1/30/2009 7:03:31 PM

I totally agree!!!!

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Xxxxxx   Xxxxxxxx, ME

1/30/2009 5:41:35 PM

all of u are very correct. it is NOT the poor dogs fault. people have made them that way

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