Below are three proposed laws. The first one would add laws for unattended tethering of dogs, the second one proposes an animal abuse registry and the third one asks for a Good Samaritan law to be passed so a person can save a child or dog from serious health injuries or even dying in a hot car without being sued by the owner. Additionally another bill will be introduced proposing a Animal Care Class where someone who is sited for the first time for tethering their dog in a manner that would be against the proposed law, will be given the option to take a class to learn how to care for dogs. The offender would have to show up in person to the class and their fine would be waived once they pass the class.
Each potential bill will need a lot of support to be passed. Please like the Facebook page Stop Big Island Dog Abuse for updates. https://www.facebook.com/Stop-Big-Island-Dog-Abuse-954635164557731/ These are statewide proposals. When they are turned into bills toward the end of January 2016, the public will have the opportunity to sign petitions and provide written testimony via email and/or provide live testimony to the legislative body.
AN ACT REGARDING UNATTENDED TETHERING OF DOGS
SECTION 1. PURPOSE
To strengthen existing law 711-1109 and take the next step in solving four problems in Hawaii.
This proposed law would strengthen existing law 711-1109 by addressing a specific type of dog abuse commonly known as unattended tethering. It combines and expands tethering laws that have been proven enforceable and effective in many other states. Addressing this very common dog abuse will help solve four significant problems in Hawaii: biting, barking, pet overpopulation and animal abuse. Now is the time to take the next step and address a root cause of these all too common problems: unattended tethered dogs.
Hawaii recognized the seriousness of dog bites by enacting the Hawaii Dog Bite Law HRS 663-9. While a good and useful law for those who have been bitten, it does nothing to prevent the dog from becoming aggressive in the first place. Unattended tethered dogs are a danger to people, especially small children, because unattended tethered dogs frequently become highly aggressive. A study published in Public Health Reports found that chained dogs accounted for 50% of the severe attacks that occurred in the study area. In 2004 on Kauai, a one year-old child was killed by an unattended tethered dog.
• In 2013 the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published the first study of the epidemiology of dog bites that was based on law-enforcement reports, animal control reports and investigator statements. Among the most common contributing factors to dog bites were “dogs kept isolated from regular positive human interactions … (e.g. dogs kept chained in backyards).” Dogs that are crated are also isolated from positive human interactions.
• The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons have teamed up to promote responsible dog ownership, pointing out that tethering dogs contributes to aggressive behavior: “Confine your dog in a fenced yard or dog run when it is not in the house. Never tether or chain your dog be-cause this can contribute to aggressive behavior.”
Unattended tethered dogs do not suddenly become aggressive. Through a recognized behavioral process called shaping, the aggressive behavior usually begins with barking. Early on, the ignored and isolated dog learns that barking will get people to interact with him, often by looking at him. Over time, he learns that the louder and more threatening his barking sounds, the more attention he gets from people passing by his small territory. He discovers that snapping and snarling really get people’s attention. Then one day a small child wanders into the tiny territory defined by his chain. What happens next is a preventable tragedy. This proposed law will protect both children and adults from a terrifying and potentially fatal attack by an aggressive, abused, chained dog.
Hawaii laws recognize that excessive barking is a public nuisance. While the laws rightfully offer recourse for people who suffer from the noise of incessantly barking dogs, it does nothing to prevent the dog from developing the habit of excessive barking.
• Barking dogs cause so much stress and hostility among neighbors that it is one of the most common com-plaints made to Hawaii police.
• Noisy dog complaints are also one of most common reasons for neighbor disputes.
An aggressively barking, unattended, and tethered dog is verbally threatening everyone within range of his voice. Preventing aggressive barking disrupts the progression of behavioral shaping from barking to biting. This proposed law will help owners avoid raising a non socialized dog who barks excessively by preventing unattended tethering or crating. It also provides support for low-cost or free dog training so dogs can learn when to bark and when to be quiet. One big collateral benefit will be that the neighbors can enjoy some peace and quiet.
The ongoing problem of pet overpopulation tells us that too many owners are not having their pets spayed and neutered.
• Unattended tethered female dogs who are not spayed cannot escape stray male dogs and will become pregnant, thus adding to the pet overpopulation problem. This law proposes standards for a secure primary en-closure as one alternative to tethering. If the same female dog were in a secure primary enclosure, she would be protected from stray males and would not become pregnant.
Unattended Tethering Is Animal Abuse
The life of an unattended tethered or crated dog doesn’t even begin to take care of his physical and behavioral needs. Dog owners may believe that leaving a dog chained or crated, lonely and ignored, is normal because they grew up with family and friends who treated their dogs that way. However, experts now agree that dogs need to socialize with their families.
• The Newsletter of the Humane Society Legislative Fund states, “Without exception, people and organizations widely regarded as experts on the humane treatment of animals and animal behavior agree that a solitary life on the end of a chain is a cruel sentence for these social animals [dogs].”
• The Humane Society of the United States further explains: “Tethering is an unacceptable method of confinement for any animal and has no place in humane sheltering.”
• The Animal Welfare Act of 1997 concluded that constant tethering of dogs in lieu of a primary enclosure is not a humane practice. Tethering also leads to physical suffering. Chained dogs are at greater risk of pain and injury from arthritis, neck sores (from chains that wear down the skin or become embedded), eye hemorrhaging, parasites, fly bites and urine burns.
• Gun dogs online explains that enlightened dog trainers have consistently noticed that hunting dogs who are also family companions advance through their training faster and make far better hunters than dogs raised and trained using the outdated and inferior isolation method that sometimes includes starving their dog.
In Gun Dog Magazine, professional dog trainer M. Russell has stated that it is absolutely not true that bringing a hunting dog inside will ruin their sense of smell. Professional trainer M. Russell states, “Actually the ability to scent well and to discriminate scents is an inborn ability and increases exponentially as the dog learns to distinguish more and more scents, often many of them having nothing at all to do with hunting.” In the field, a hunting companion dog who is bonded to his master works harder and accomplishes more than the isolated dog who does not trust his master.
• From Emory University, a recent groundbreaking neuro-imaging study showed that dogs process voices and interpret emotions in the same way that humans do. The sound of a dog whimpering had a similar effect on the dog brain as the sound of a baby crying had on a human brain. This study adds to previous scientific research that proves dogs and people share the same emotions and that dogs are mentally equivalent to a 2-3 year old child.
Dogs and children share another similarity: the well documented link between animal abuse and child abuse.
• The Humane Society of the United States states: “Investigation of animal abuse is often the first point of social services intervention for a family in trouble.”
• The American Humane Association reports: “The implications for human and animal welfare necessitate viewing the link between animal cruelty and domestic violence as a public safety concern. In one study, 70% of animal abusers also had records or other crimes.”
• The Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics writes that, “During the last 40 years, evidence has steadily accumulated and there is now a substantial body of supporting empirical evidence to indicate a common pattern of abuse in which women, children and animals are all victims.”
We now have a plethora of scientific proof to support our collective gut feeling that animal abuse is horrifically wrong.
Take the Next Step
Hawaii has strengthened its animal cruelty laws and has passed laws to recognize the special contributions made to our society by working dogs, such as police and assistance dogs. Dogs hold many other jobs that help people. Through scent training, tracking dogs help find missing people and medical detection dogs can identify diseases such as cancer. Certified therapy dogs help people overcome illnesses such as depression and PTSD. Police and military dogs even give their lives for us. Dogs have been a friend and protector of people for at least a thousand centuries. When we treat dogs kindly, we teach our children kindness. When we train dogs to be well behaved, we teach our children the value of manners. The well socialized, loving dog shares with our children the gift of giving and receiving unconditional love.
In return for all that dogs selflessly give to people, we have a responsibility to protect dogs from abuse.
The following proposed law is based on decades of research that defines the very nature of dogs and what constitutes humane treatment of our best friend. Today you can choose to make Hawaii a leader by passing this model law that will set a standard for every other state in our country.
SECTION 2. DEFINITIONS
“Collar” means any collar or harness constructed of nylon, leather, or similar material, specifically designed for use on dogs only and not less than 1 inch in width.
“Crate” means a container designed for the transport of a live dog.
“Filth” means bodily excretions such urine, feces or vomit and rubbish such as household garbage, construction debris and toxic materials such as motor oil or pesticides.
“Leash” means a handheld restraint device designed specifically for dogs. The leash is intended to be held by the owner while it is attached to the dog’s collar.
“Owner” means any natural person, responsible party or any legal entity, including, but not limited to, a corporation, partnership, firm, or trust owning, possessing, harboring, keeping, or having custody or permanent or temporary control of a dog.
“Primary enclosure” means an area of confinement where a dog eats, sleeps and spends the majority of its time.
“Properly fitted” means, with respect to a collar, a collar that measures the circumference of a dog’s neck plus at least one inch.
“Tethering” means to restrain a dog by tying the dog to any object or structure, including without limitation a house, tree, fence, post, garage, shed, or a cable trolley system, by any means, including without limitation a chain, rope, cord, leash, or running line.
SECTION 3. UNLAWFUL TETHERING
It shall be unlawful for an Owner to tether a dog, except when all of the following conditions are met:
(1)The dog is in visual range of the Owner and the Owner is located outside with the dog or inside with the dog (2)The tether is connected to the dog by a device that is specifically designed or properly fitted for the restraint of the dog such as a buckle-type collar or a body harness made of nylon or leather, not less than one inch in width and in compliance with HRS1.711-1109.1(g). Devices fitted primarily or entirely for the head of the dog shall not be used for tethering at any time.
(3)The tether has the following properties: It is not less than five times the length of the dog’s body, as measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail, provided that, in no case, shall the tether be less than ten feet in length; it does not weigh more than ten (10) per cent of the weight of the dog; it terminates at both ends with a swivel; it is free of tangles; it allows the dog to walk at least eight feet, excluding the length of the dog as measured from the tip of such dog’s nose to the base of such dog’s tail, in any one direction; it has no weights attached. The tether must be designed for dogs (no towing or logging chains or chains with links made of metal greater than1/4 inch diameter or other lines or devices not designed for tethering dogs). Any pulley, running line, or trolley systems must meet the requirements as already stated in this section, and be at least 15 feet in length and less than 7 feet above the ground.
(4)The dog is tethered in such a manner as to prevent: injury, strangulation, or entanglement; exposure to filth, taunts or harassment, or dangerous conditions like animal or human attacks. The dog is not tethered in a manner that will allow it to reach the property of another person, a public walkway, a road, or any object or hazard that poses a risk of injury, entanglement, or strangulation to the dog including, but not limited to, a window sill, edge of a pool, fence, and lanai, porch, balcony, or terrace railing. If there are multiple dogs, each dog is tethered separately.
(5)The dog is not exposed to extreme weather, including without limitation extreme heat or cold, heavy rains, flooding, thunder storms, high winds, tropical storms, or hurricanes. This shall include situations where the Owner may be in visual range of the dog but is physically separated from dog, such as if the Owner is inside a vehicle.
(6)The dog has access to water, shelter, light, ventilation, shade, and dry ground free of filth.
(7) Dogs under twelve months of age shall not be tethered.
(8)The dog is not sick, injured, and does not suffer from a condition that is known to be exacerbated by tethering, including behavioral problems such as anxiety, aggression, and barking.
SECTION 4. TETHERING EXCLUSIONS
Tethering shall not include:
a) using a hand-held leash to walk a dog;
b) a dog restrained while the Owner is engaged in an activity that is conducted pursuant to a valid license is-sued by this state if the activity for which the license is issued is associated with the use or presence of a dog such as organized and lawful animal functions including hunting, obedience training, field and water training, law enforcement training and/or in the pursuit of working or competing in those legal endeavors;
c) a dog restrained in compliance with the requirements of camping or recreational areas as defined by a federal, state, or local authority or jurisdiction; this includes HI DOBR areas when the owner is engaged in a recreational or commercial boating or water activity and the restraint is reasonably necessary for the safety of the dog
d) a dog restrained while the Owner is engaged in conduct directly related to the businesses of agricultural or livestock husbandry, including any type of residential or commercial landscaping activity if the restraint is reasonably necessary for the safety of the dog.
SECTION 5. APPROVED PRIMARY ENCLOSURE/ STANDARDS FOR A PRIMARY ENCLOSURE
The primary enclosure must provide for the physical needs of the dog and provide environmental enrichment. Environmental enrichment has been conclusively shown to avoid or minimize the development of undesirable behaviors such as excessive barking and dangerous behaviors such as biting. These standards for primary enclosures will apply to both outdoor and indoor confinement areas.
The primary enclosure must:
a) be structurally sound to properly confine the dog, prevent injury, keep children and stray animals out and enable the dog to remain dry and clean
b) be free of any sharp edges, gaps, protrusions, or other defects that could cause an injury to or trap a limb or other body part
c) include secure latches or other closing devices
d) not have wire-mesh bottoms or slatted floors
e) not consist of or include an invisible fence because children and stray animals can enter the enclosed area.
f) not consist of or include in any way a crate
The primary enclosure must provide sufficient space to allow each dog to make normal postural adjustments, e.g., to turn freely and to easily stand, sit, stretch, move the head, hold the tail erect without touching the top of the enclosure, lie in a comfortable position with limbs extended, move about and assume a comfortable posture for feeding, drinking, urinating and defecating.
The length of the primary enclosure is not less than seven times the length of the dog’s body, as measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail, provided that, in no case, shall the enclosure be less than fifteen feet in length.
The width of the primary enclosure is not less than five times the length of the dog’s body, as measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail, provided that, in no case, shall the enclosure be less than ten feet in width.
The length and width requirements are per dog.
The primary enclosure must be designed and constructed such that:
a) it protects the dog from adverse weather, taunts, and harassment and prevents escape or predation.
b) the top of the enclosure is covered with materials as necessary to provide the dog with protection from sun, wind, and rain. The primary enclosure must allow the dog to comfortably maintain normal body temperature
c) the dog can see out but it also allows the dog to avoid visual contact with other animals to alleviate anxiety
d) the physical environment includes opportunities for hiding, playing, resting, feeding and eliminating
e) the separation between food, urination, defecation and resting areas are maximized. A primary enclosure must allow the dog to sit, sleep and eat away from areas where the dog defecates and urinates.
The primary enclosure shall contain a shelter that includes the following characteristics:
a) it shall be free of any sharp edges, gaps, protrusions, or other defects that could cause an injury to or trap a limb or other body part
b) it shall be large enough to allow the dog to choose to be completely hidden inside the shelter or have his body hidden while being able to look out of the door
c) the shelter roof shall serve as an easily accessible observation platform so the dog can securely observe his surroundings from an elevated resting location
d) it shall provide a soft resting place to provide comfort, to prevent pressure sores, and to avoid exacerbating known medical problems.
i) Proper bedding materials are clean, dry, and appropriate for the dog’s size, weight and medical needs, meaning the bedding does not exacerbate or ignore known medical problems such as osteoarthritis.
SECTION 6. PENALTIES
The penalties for a violation of this section are to be applied per dog and per incident and are as follows:
1) for the first violation, the Owner is given a ticket for a fine of no less than ninety-nine dollars ($99.00) and required to attend in person an educational seminar about dog ownership and the human-animal bond
a) the Police or Animal Control Officer may grant a grace period of up to 90 days for the Owner to correct the situation (e.g. build a proper enclosure and/or bring the dog inside)
2) second and subsequent violations are infractions punishable upon conviction by a fine of five hundred dollars ($500) or imprisonment in a county jail for six months, or both
3) if the Owner intentionally and maliciously causes or allows to occur any injury to the dog such that care by a veterinarian is required, the violation is a felony with a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). If the Owner intentionally and maliciously causes or allows to occur the death of the dog, the violation is a felony and the penalty shall be five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) and imprisonment in jail for up to 1 year, or both.
4) if the violation is committed in the presence of a minor, the applicable penalties shall be doubled.
5) the identity of a person convicted of any violation of this section shall be permanently entered into a data-base built for the purpose of registering animal abusers, similar to a sex-offender registry (see Act for an Animal Abuser Registry of Hawaii)
6) monies collected from these fines shall be used to promote compliance by:
a) providing free or reduced cost professional training in basic obedience and house training to help Owners transition outdoor dogs into indoor family pets
b) providing financial assistance to help Owners build an approved primary enclosure.
Animal Abuser Registry of Hawaii Act
Sec. 1. Purpose
This Act recognizes that an Animal Abuser Registry will have tremendous benefits for the citizens of Hawaii because animal abuse is linked to domestic violence and public safety. Individuals who mistreat, abuse, or kill domestic animals often extend that behavior to humans in the form of domestic violence, child abuse, and in certain cases, even murder.
• From the American Humane Association: “The implications for human and animal welfare necessitate viewing the Link [between animal cruelty and domestic violence] as a public safety concern… In one study, 70% of animal abusers also had records for other crimes.”
• From the Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, “During the last 40 years, evidence for this view [that there is a link between cruelty to animals and violence to people] has steadily accumulated as a result of statistical, psychological, and medical investigations, and there is now a substantial body of supporting empirical evidence …these and other findings indicate a common pattern of abuse in which battered women, children, and animals are all victims.”
• From the Humane Society of the United States: “Investigation of animal abuse is often the first point of social services intervention for a family in trouble.”
This database will function in much the same way that sex-offender registries function in alerting concerned members of the public about the presence of convicted sex offenders. Mandatory registration of animal abusers in a state-wide database will protect potential animal victims and help prevent crimes against humans by informing interested parties that a convicted animal abuser may be among them. In addition to law enforcement agencies, users of this database would include child adoptive agencies, child foster programs, animal adoptive agencies, private sellers of dogs, pet breeders, employers looking for an employee to work closely with animals in pet shops, shelters, or animal hospitals, concerned pet owners, parents of small children, and other members of the general public could all use this registry to prescreen potential animal abusers.
Sec. 2. Definitions
For the purposes of this act:
“Abuse” means any act in violation of Hawaii State, County, and/or City animal abuse laws, which include any act that harms or has the potential to harm the physical safety or well-being of animals, including not only affirmative acts of violence but also neglect in the form of failure to provide necessary sustenance and shelter, exposure to unsafe levels of hot or cold temperatures, severe confinement, or abandonment
“Animal adoption programs” includes adoption activities of any animal shelter, humane society or other organization that seeks owners for homeless companion animals from among the public.
“Contact with animals” means owning, keeping, possessing, or caring for an animal, whether on one’s own property or the property of another or whether the animal is owned by another individual, or residing in the same household as a companion animal.
Sec. 3. Registration of Convicted Animal Abusers
(a) Public access database: this database shall provide information to the general public via an Animal Abuse Registry pages of the hawaii.gov website. This database shall automatically register a person convicted of any violation of Hawaii’s animal abuse laws within seven (7) days of the conviction. Registration shall not depend on the offender’s cooperation. The Hawaii Attorney General’s Office shall update the online Animal Abuse Registry on an ongoing basis and translate its contents into languages other than English as it sees fit. The public access database will contain the following information about the convicted abuser:
1. Legal name and any aliases used
2. A current photograph
4. Home address
5. Nature of the offense and date(s) of the offense
(b) Law enforcement agencies only database: this database shall automatically register a person convicted of any violation of Hawaii’s animal abuse laws within seven (7) days of the conviction. Registration shall not depend on the offender’s cooperation. The Attorney General’s Office shall update the Web site on an ongoing basis. This database shall be accessed only by law enforcement agencies and shall include the following information:
1.The local law enforcement agency shall provide the information found in the public database plus the offender’s date of birth and a set of fingerprints to the Attorney General of Hawaii, who shall make it available to other law enforcement entities within Hawaii including animal control agencies,
2. Upon completion of court-ordered counseling or training, a first-time offender may, after five (5) years with no additional violations, petition the court to be removed from the mandated registry. Persons convicted of a second or subsequent offense or persons convicted of a felony violation may not petition to be removed from the registry and shall be permanently kept in the registry.
3. Photographs must be updated every five (5) years. The offender must be photographed at a local police department and will bear the cost for such service as necessary to update the Website.
4. Persons subject to the registry requirement must notify their local police department at such time as they move to another address within or outside the state, within ten (10) days of the change of address.
Sec. 4. Public Use of the Registry
(a) The public shall always have access to information maintained online in the Animal Abuse Registry pages of the hawaii.gov website.
(b) Animal adoption programs and private sellers of dogs are required to use this online information to screen all animal adoption applicants or potential buyers.
(c) No person may transfer ownership of an animal to a registered animal abuser.
(d) Registered animal abusers shall not be permitted to have contact with any animals.
Sec. 4. Enforcements and penalties
(a) A registered offender who has contact with any animal or acquires control of any animal shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to one (1) year in jail and/or a fine of not less than $99 for the first violation, not less than $250 for the second violation, it will then become a felony with a fine of not less than $500 for each subsequent violation..
(b) Selling, adopting, giving any animal to, or otherwise facilitating contact with or relinquishing control of an animal to a person listed in the Registry is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one (1) year in jail and/or a fine of not less than $99 for the first violation, not less than $250 for the second violation, and not less than $500 for each subsequent violation.
Animal Legal Defense Fund (http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=951)
California Senate Bill 1277, Sen. Manuel Florez (2010)
Florida Statutes §828-12 Cruelty to Animals
510 Illinois Compiled Statutes §70/3.0-3.3, Humane Care for Animals Act
New York State Assembly Bill 09912, Tedisco (2010)
New York State Assembly Bill 10998, Tedisco (2010)
Oregon Revised Statutes §167.332
Wash. Rev. Code §16.52.200 (Amended 2009)
An Act For Good Samaritan Rescue Of Children and Animals Left Unattended In Vehicles
Section 1. Purpose
This Act works with HRS 291C-121.5 to create protection from civil or criminal liability for Good Samaritans who have complied with the requirements of Section 3 below. When a child or pet is trapped in a hot car, minutes count. But rescue personnel may be too far away to reach the victim in time. This Act proposes means to allow a citizen to act in good faith to save a life.
Sadly, as of 2014, safercar.gov ranks Hawaii as the seventh worst state in per capita heatstroke deaths of children.
From the National Transportation Safety Administration: On an 80-degree day, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach deadly peaks in 10 minutes.
From Nathan Allen, MD, an emergency medicine doctor at University of Chicago: “There is no safe amount of time to leave children alone in the car. Kids are more susceptible and at higher risk for heat-related illness and injury than adults because their bodies make more heat relative to their size and their abilities to cool through sweating are not as developed as adults.”
From Christopher McStay, MD, an emergency room doctor and assistant professor of emergency medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center: ”It is never OK to leave kids or pets in a car — even with the windows down.”
Researchers at Stanford University found that “even on a relatively cool day, the temperature inside a parked car can quickly spike to life-threatening levels if the sun is out.” The researchers “hope their findings will put to rest the misconception that a parked car can be a safe place for a child or pet in mild weather.”
From weather.com: “[Nationally], between May and August 2015, nine K-9 unit dogs died because they were locked in hot squad cars, including several that died because the air conditioner in the police car failed.”
From the American Veterinary Medical Association: “Every year, hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion because they are left in parked vehicles.”
From People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals: “Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paw pads.”
Trapped in a hot car, a dog only has hot air to breathe. No matter how hard he pants, he cannot cool himself. Some dogs try to chew and claw their way out of the car. The dog may seizure, vomit, drool, and collapse. As the air temperature rises, his body temperature rises until, within minutes, his brain and internal organs are fatally damaged. This dog was roasted alive in his owner’s car. Now imagine that the victim suffering the horrific death of heatstroke was a child.
When a child or pet is trapped in a hot vehicle, minutes count.
The longer the vehicle is parked, the hotter it gets inside. Temperatures in excess of 160 degrees have been recorded in parked cars. Leaving the windows slightly open doesn’t make any difference.
1. It doesn’t have to be hot outside to be dangerous inside a car.
2. The temperature spike happens quick.
3. Cracking windows doesn’t help.
Even dogs left in a truck bed or other defined space such as a boat can suffer from heatstroke. Some dogs have risk factors such as thick fur, old age, obesity, or underlying medical conditions that make them more susceptible. Further, the temperature of the floor of a truck bed can get hot enough to burn or blister a dog’s paws.
This act serves to grant immunity from civil or criminal liability to a person who forcibly breaks into a vehicle to rescue an animal, provided the person has complied with the requirements of Section 3.
Section 2. Definitions
“Animal” includes every living creature, except a human being (HRS 711-1100 Definitions).
“Authorized individual” means a law enforcement officer, an animal control officer, a firefighter, 911 operator, or other first responder.
“Child” means a person under the age of nine (HRS 291C-121.5 Definitions).
“Record” means to video, film, photograph, or archive electronically or digitally.
“Vehicle” includes private and commercial passenger vehicles, trailers, campers, boats, recreational vehicles, and other defined mobile spaces in which an animal may be contained
“Unattended” means leaving a child or animal alone in a motor vehicle; or in a vehicle with a minor under the age of twelve
Section 3. Requirements
(a) A person whose conduct conforms to the requirements of subsection (b) shall be immune from civil or criminal liability for actions taken while carrying out the provisions of this section, including any damage resulting from the forcible entry of a vehicle for the purpose of removing a child or animal from the vehicle.
(b) Subsection (a) applies if the person:
(1) Has a good faith belief that forcible entry into the vehicle is necessary because the child or animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm if not immediately removed from the vehicle and based upon the circumstances known to the person at the time, the belief is a reasonable one;
(2) Has contacted or attempted to contact an authorized individual;
(3) Taking into consideration the exigent circumstances, has made a reasonable effort to locate the person responsible for the child or animal;
(4) Has determined that the vehicle is locked or there is otherwise no reasonable method for the child or animal to exit the vehicle;
(5) If possible and exigent circumstances permit, has used any readily available means such as a cell phone to record the situation and/or has asked witnesses to stay to provide their contact information to an authorized individual;
(6) Used no more force to enter the vehicle and remove the child or animal from the vehicle than was necessary under the circumstances.
(7) Placed a notice on the vehicle’s windshield with the person’s contact information, the reason the entry was made, the location of the child or animal, and the fact that the authorities have been notified;
(8) Remains with the child or animal in a safe location, out of the elements but reasonably close to the vehicle, until law enforcement, animal control, fire, or another authorized individual arrives unless
the child or animal appears to need medical assistance, in which case the child or animal may be taken to an appropriate facility for treatment.
Section 4. Penalties
(a) The person responsible for the child or animal did intentionally, knowingly, carelessly, negligently, or recklessly leave the child or animal in an unattended vehicle under conditions that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death of the child or animal.
(1) If the victim is a child, the person responsible is guilty of child abuse or neglect as defined in HRS 350-1.
(2) If the victim is an animal, the person responsible has committed animal cruelty pursuant to HRS 711-1108.5 and/or HRS 711-1109 and shall be subject to fines and imprisonment under those sections, and shall be entered into the Hawaii Animal Abuser Registry (See Act for an Animal Abuser Registry of Hawaii).