By Leland Kim
TANTALUS (KHNL) - Pet owners are speaking out tonight now that an animal cruelty bill has been signed into law. Governor Linda Lingle signed it last week.
Just in the past ten months, three Hawaii pet pigs were brutally killed. Now that a felony-level law protects pets, those grieving families say their pets did not died in vain.
Their names are Porky, Kipu, and Gonzo. They were beloved pet pigs, killed by those who trespassed onto private property.
When we last saw Janet Broder, she was grieving the loss of her pet and best friend. Gonzo died in his house, the one his owners built for him. Two months later, the house still stands.
"It's still hard for me to come out here because I just really miss him," said Janet Broder, a Tantalus resident who helped take care of Gonzo with her sister and brother-in-law.
And just beyond Gonzo's house is his gravesite.
"But we tried to make it happy," said Broder. "You know, put his favorite pillow and his favorite toys and this hula hoop."
Gonzo's story, and the stories of Porky and Kipu, helped lawmakers pass a felony-level animal cruelty bill in May. Governor Linda Lingle signed it into law a week ago today.
"I'm sorry that it had to happen, that he had to die for something, for people to finally start paying attention," said Broder. "But he would be proud that he made a difference."
Broder said Hawaii is living up to its reputation as the "aloha state."
"I think it's another show of aloha that we want to take care of our pets, and we want to take care of animals in general," she said.
A pet owner hoping other families don't have to go through what she went through.
Hawaii is now the 43rd state to have a felony level animal cruelty law.