By Leland Kim
HONOLULU (KHNL) - The community reacts, two days after another pet pig is killed, this time in Tantalus. It's the third such incident just in the past six months, and among a handful of recent animal cruelty cases in Hawaii.
Porky, Kipu, and now, Gonzo. Three pet pigs, all killed on private property. As lawmakers look to toughen animal cruelty laws, this latest incident could help shape the direction of the debate.
"It causes a question to re-arise at the legislature, which is, 'What is a pet?'" said Sen. Clayton Hee, (D) Kahuku, Laie, Kaaawa and Kaneohe.
None of the animal cruelty bills include pigs under the protected pet category.
"The problem becomes if a pig becomes a pet, is how to not have pigs in Kapolei or in Hawaii Kai," said Sen. Hee. "So that's the tricky part of crafting a law."
But some say, the law should broaden the definition.
"Pets are not just dogs and cats and rabbits as in the original version. They include pet pigs," said Pamela Burns, president of the Hawaiian Humane Society. "They include other kinds of animals."
The Department of Land and Natural Resources has issued 57 hunting permits since it okayed wild pig hunting in the Makiki and Manoa areas.
Under its guidelines, hunters are responsible for the control of their dogs at all times. But the Hawaiian Humane Society says hunting dogs sometimes go out of control.
"We've also had cases where hunting dogs have gone after other people's own dogs in their own yards," said Burns. "So I hope DLNR really takes a hard look and does something about this. It's a real problem."
DLNR sent an investigator Tuesday afternoon to look at the Tantalus pet pig. Officials plan to interview permitted hunters to find out what happened. At this point, it is unknown if the dogs that attacked the Tantalus pet pig were under the control of hunters with permits.