HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu City Council has passed a bill that would shorten the hold time for stray pets at the Hawaiian Humane Society.
Under Bill 59, owners will have five days to reclaim their pets — instead of nine — and also requires that all registered cats and dogs have a microchip.
The Hawaiian Humane Society said the bill would make it easier to find the pets’ owners.
“It applies to a very small subset of the animals that we care for and those are the animals that are brought in as strays,” said Daniel Roselle, of the Hawaiian Humane Society. “They have a microchip, but the owners haven't picked them up.”
Critics, however, are concerned that the bill could quicken the time to euthanize the animals.
However, the Humane Society said it’s not about euthanasia — it’s about giving pets the best possible life.
“We deal with pets that when they come in to us, they’re at their worst,” Roselle said. “Some of these animals, they’ve been abandoned, have been mistreated, have not had the care they need their whole life, so while we obviously want to give every pet the best life they can and unfortunately sometimes that means euthanasia.”
Roselle said a majority of owners pick up their pets within five days anyway, and the remaining 10% just sit there. The new bill would help get more animals out for adoption sooner and will allow the Humane Society to focus efforts on medical care for animals in need.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell is expected to sign the bill so that it can take effect in July.