Legislation Impacting Hawaii’s Pet Owners and Their Pets Up for Vote on Tuesday

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By Jennifer Han for the Hawaiian Humane Society – This year Hawaiian Humane Society celebrates 130 years of its mission, which is to promote the human-animal bond and the humane treatment of all animals.

Animals of all kinds from farm animals and companion animals to wild animals and animals used as food – all continue to be an important part of our mission’s focus. Every year, we track, follow and support bills that will impact animal welfare and our community to keep you informed of the issues and educate you about our positions.


As we approach the final weeks at the legislature, there are four animal-related bills that will be heard on Tuesday, April 2. This week’s highlights include more than 250 of you who submitted testimony in support of mandatory sentencing for those convicted of animal cruelty. As a result, the bill passed in an amended version out of committee.

Bills that Need Your Support Now

Vet Med Bill (SB 8)

The Vet Med Bill seeks to ensure that animals do not endure unnecessary pain and suffering by permitting only licensed veterinarians to do surgical procedures such as tail docking, ear cropping, and debarking.

At the last hearing, the committee added an unexpected exemption: persons residing in a population of less than 500,000 may conduct tail docking and dewclaw removal on pet animals within five days of birth.

We believe that it is not good policy to exempt a community by its population size. Only licensed veterinarians should conduct surgical procedures.

Please support this bill with this exemption removed.

Read the full bill here.

Pet Deposit Bill (SB 328)

The Pet Deposit Bill has the potential to increase pet-friendly housing if landlords are given an option of charging a refundable pet deposit for pet-related damage.

Nearly 60% of Oahu households have at least one pet and through our Pets in Housing program we have been working with associations, developers and policy leaders to advocate for more housing.

Read the full bill here.


Animal Prohibition Bill (SB 9)

Prohibits persons convicted of cruelty to animals in the first degree and second degree from possessing, owning, or residing with any pet animal for at least one year.

Read the full bill  here.

Both the Victim Restitution Bill and the Animal Prohibition Bill promote holding those convicted of animal cruelty offenses accountable for their actions by imposing harsher penalties, including financial.

Victim Restitution Bill (HB 235)

Widens the definition of “victim” to include humane societies caring for cruelty case animals so that such organizations may be considered for restitution.

Read the full bill here.

Submitting Testimony: Step-By-Step Instructions

Go to our Legislative Session page for help on testimony.
(1) Go to the bill:
Vet Med Bill (SB 8)
  *DEADLINE: Monday, April 1st
(2) Click on Submit Testimony (blue tab in top, right corner)
(3) Enter your name and email
(4) Under Testifier Position, click IN SUPPORT
(5) Add any comments you would like the Committee to consider
(6) Click Next
(7) Check the box in agreement of the Terms and Conditions
(8) Hit Submit Testimony.
You will receive confirmation via email of your testimony.