I was recently at a rally at the Hawaii State Animal Quarantine Station. My heart broke to hear of animals that entered quarantine, healthy, only to have died or had their lives shortened by abuse or illness — at the hands of our state.

I cried for one woman whose three dogs, including one that notifies her when she needs medication for her diabetes, are in Quarantine. This “lifesaver” pet, not a certified service dog, must remain incarcerated.

At the rally, one person with an animal in quarantine reportedly paid employees “under the table” to prevent spreading of pesticides around his animals’ cages. Others told of their dogs’ personalities and physical health changing; bloody stools; loss of hair and sight; liver damage — caused by Diazinon, the pesticide used at the quarantine station.

Exposure to Diazinon causes physical, mental and nerve damage and behavioral changes to the human or animal body. By using Diazinon to kill pests, the state is killing pets.

Quarantine is a depressing place. I felt the dark energy — the sadness and pain.

It is a mystery as to why the state objects to changing the Quarantine system. The leaders of the state only need to study the rabies vaccination statistics to see quarantine, as operated in Hawaii, is completely unnecessary.

Today, we can fly from the mainland to the United Kingdom and back with a “pet passport” (eligible pets have rabies vaccinations, blood tests and microchips).

But we cannot fly between the mainland and the “Aloha” state without “jailing” our pets. I know. My family has lived in Hawaii for 38 years and I recently returned from the mainland with my beloved Tiffany.

Spending 30 to 120 days exposed to the elements, sleeping in the same confined quarters to eat, defecate and urinate, is cruel, inhumane punishment.

Yet our innocent, vaccinated animal companions are imprisoned at the state Quarantine, guilty only of being in Hawaii.

I ask our lawmakers to please support Ruby’s law and eliminate unnecessary incarceration of qualified pets and the 120-day pre-qualification time.

”’Audrey Hutton is a resident of Kaneohe and can be reached via email at:”’ mailto:AJHaloha@aol.com

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Hawaii Reporter is an award-winning, independent Hawaii-based news and opinion journal founded in 2001 and launched in February 2002. The journal's staff have won a number of top awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including the top investigative news reporting awards, business reporting awards, government reporting awards, and online news reporting awards.