Sixty percent of homes in Hawaii have a dog or cat and many may be surprised that pets have been eaten here in Hawaii.
"I have been in the presence and observed dogs being killed for the purpose of eating, some for commercial purposes. One individual killed 300 dogs in one year," said Carroll Cox, Envirowatch. "I did subject myself to that and it is horrendous. One gentleman takes a rebar pipe and then hits the dog on the head. They will hit the dog on the head or shoot it or choke it."
Envirowatch's Carroll Cox says he's documented the process, although we aren't airing his video because of the graphic content. He says there are plenty of myths, but in reality every size, color and breed is slaughtered.
"Everyone here in the state of Hawaii in each racial group, each ethnicity I've observed them either consuming or purchasing or being part of the preparing dogs for consumption," said Cox. "There is a gentleman I know will not eat any other meat than dog meat. He eats it quite common."
In 2007 two men were caught stealing a dog with intention of eating it. They were convicted but for theft.
"We cannot allow cruelty or inhumanity in our country," said Stephanie Ryan, Oahu SPCA.
At the State Capitol animal advocates brought their dogs and testified in support of a bill prohibiting the slaughtering or trafficking of dogs or cats for consumption. Some shared stories of seeing dogs slaughtered in Moiliili.
"When the police came the officer asked the men if they had slaughtered the dog humanely. They replied yes. The officer told me there was nothing more he could legally do and left. The men continued to skin the dog and as I watched one of the men started cutting off its head," said Stephany Sofos, animal advocate.
"Slaughtering of a dog or cat for consumption would be expressly illegal a misdemeanor, and if the method of slaughter was considered torture or mutilation under our first degree animal cruelty law the perpetrators could be subject to a felony," said Inga Gibson, The Humane Society of the United States.
No one testified against the bill.
Similar efforts have failed in the past. If passed this time Cox worries enforcement won't have any teeth.
"You have to go in and ferret it out. It's a very secretive practice unless you get introduced," said Cox.
Senate Bill 2026 did pass out of committee today. However the effective date was changed to the year 2100, meaning it will now go to caucus and anything can happen when lawmakers debate it behind closed doors.