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Committees Modify Bill Intended to Outlaw Sale of Unsterilized Dogs in Hawaii

Two committees of the Hawaii Senate took steps recently to modify proposed Senate Bill 2504 such that, if passed by the legislature, it will not apply to breeders who do not sell puppies or dogs to retail pet stores and will not require those sold by retailers to be spayed or neutered.

The committees changed the definition of “retail pet store” to clarify that it does not include humane societies, animal control, rescue or care organizations, or retail pet stores acting in cooperation with this type of organization.

SB 2504 would require retail pet stores to implant microchips in all dogs prior to sale or exchange, to collect appropriate county dog licensing forms and fees from anyone buying a puppy or dog, and to provide a dog buyer with the breeder’s name, address and USDA license information (if licensed); the dog’s birthday; the date the store received the dog; and the dog’s breed, sex, color and identifying marks. They would also need to provide the buyer with a record of: each inoculation and worming treatment, if any, including the dates and types of treatments administered; any veterinary treatments or medications received while the dog or cat was at the store; and spay or neuter (if performed), as well as a document stating that the dog has “no known diseases or illnesses or describing any known diseases or illnesses or any known congenital or hereditary conditions that may adversely affect health at the time of sale or exchange, or is likely to adversely affect health in the future.”

If passed by the legislature, anyone selling a dog to a pet store must provide the same information to the store.

Pet stores will have to make all documentation available for inspection by county humane officers, animal control officers, or law enforcement officers during business hours.

In addition, retailers would give all dog buyers written information about the “health and other benefits” of spaying and neutering.

SB 2504 prohibits the sale of dogs in public places other than in retail stores and by humane groups using a public place to find adoptive homes for dogs in their care.

The penalty for violating the law was also amended from a petty misdemeanor to a fine of $500 per violation by the Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, and Committee on Economic Development and Technology. They further inserted an effective date of January 2, 2050, to “allow for further discussion,” according to their report. As the bill moves through other committees, then to the Senate floor, the effective date could be changed again.

The bill also applies to kittens and cats.

Its next stop is the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor.

To follow the bill’s progress, click here.

Written by

Susan Chaney has been on the editorial side of publishing since 1990, starting her career as a newspaper features writer and editor. A lifelong lover of dogs, Susan has lived with German Shepherds, Labs, Yorkies, an Irish Setter, a Great Dane-Bloodhound mix, a Sheltie and currently a Chihuahua mix of unknown pedigree. She was the editor of Dog Fancy magazine, content editor of DogChannel.com and group editor of Dog World, Dogs USA, Puppies USA, Natural Dog, Cat Fancy, Cats USA and Kittens USA from March 2005 to December 2009 when she left her position to work at home, part-time. Susan lives in Long Beach, Calif., with her artist husband, Tim, that Chi mix and two big cats. As an editor and writer for Best In Show Daily, she is reveling in the amalgam of three loves: writing, editing and dogs.