Tougher Animal Cruelty Laws In The Works

Michelle Buck
Michelle Buck
Kolu Buck
Kolu Buck
Janet Hyrne
Janet Hyrne

MILILANI (KHNL) - The killing of two pet pigs got a lot of media attention several months ago. It's a story you saw first here on KHNL News 8 that's prompted the Hawaiian Humane Society and others to push for tougher animal cruelty laws.

Currently, a person accused of animal cruelty, can only be charged with a misdemeanor here in Hawaii. The Humane Society says it wants to change that, and animal lovers say they want tougher laws to protect family pets.

Leonardo DiPiggio does what pigs do best. He enjoys a sunny day in his new home in Mililani. He also gets a visit from his former owners: the Bucks.

"We're so excited to be here and I can't believe how much he's grown," said Michelle Buck, Leonardo's former owner. "He's looking more and more like a wild pig."

"He just has -- I don't know how big it is -- but he has a humongous place to roam around and get muddy and stuff," said Kolu Buck, who helped raise the pig.

The Bucks gave Leo -- as he's known now -- to a family whose pet pig Porky was stabbed to death.

"I can't even imagine that kind of thing is happening," said Michelle Buck. "We think that it should definitely be a felony offense."

The Hawaiian Humane Society agrees.

"Really when you have things that are just so horrible as to what happened to the family and to that pig, it really makes us look at the situation and say, 'Is a misdemeanor enough?'" said Janet Hyrne, a foster care volunteer and an animal rights advocate for the Hawaiian Humane Society.

That's why they will work on changing existing laws.

"The animal cruelty law is probably one of the main things that the Humane Society is going to be working towards," said Hyrne. "I think that we can look forward to seeing stronger laws that protect all animals."

Back at the farm, the Bucks are grateful they got a chance to see Leo during the holidays.

"It's like a present except it's a little earlier than Christmas," said Kolu Buck.

"To come out here and spend the morning with Leonardo and his new family is a wonderful holiday gift to us," said Michelle Buck.

They hope tougher news laws are passed, so pets like Leo will be better protected.

Castle and Cooke, the company that owns the property adjacent to the farm where Porky was killed, has taken steps to increase security. It is working to install a fence and a gate to block off the access road used by animal poachers. Once the plans are approved by the Board of Water Supply, it will take about a month to complete the project.