HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii does not have any laws regulating large scale dog breeders which can result in cruel and inhumane treatment of animals. But this legislative session lawmakers are confident that will change.
"Animal welfare is a very high priority for the legislators because we've seen enough, we've seen more than enough," said State Senator Clayton Hee, (D) Kahuku, Laie, Kaneohe.
Senator Hee plans to re-introduce a bill that would regulate large scale breeders. This after our series of reports on puppy farms including the seizure of 153 dogs in Waimanalo and the connection between those owners and another farm on the Big Island.
"This latest story you brought to light yesterday enunciates that regulatory licensing is necessary and that if large scale breeding is to occur legally under the law, the law has to provide for the welfare of the animals," said Senator Hee. "For me personally it saddens me, I guess I'm beyond outrage."
The bill would ensure each dog is provided with food, water, shelter, veterinary care, space and regular exercise. It would also limit the amount a times a dog can get pregnant to not more than twice in an 18 month span and allow inspectors access to the property for unannounced visits.
The Hawaiian Humane Society also wants more scrutiny put on the breeders so if they're caught in violation they can't just reopen under another name.
"What's also frustrating is because the corporation was charged and there wasn't enough of a case to be brought against the individuals resulted in this business being able to morph into another business that continues in the same line of business of large scale dog breeding and really unacceptable conditions," said Pam Burns, Hawaiian Humane Society President and CEO.
The Hawaiian Humane Society is also pushing for more regulation on breeders selling on the internet. Over a two week span in November they tallied $365,000 worth of dogs were sold on Oahu and that was only monitoring four sites. Spread that out over a year and its $9.49 million.
"It's big business we need more regulation to make sure the standards of care are met and these animals are not suffering just because we want a puppy," said Burns.
The Hawaiian Humane Society also points out that no pet stores on Oahu have released their list of breeders as requested.
While the dogs may rest advocates won't stop until regulations are in place.