The legislature finds that thousands of animals, primarily dogs and cats, are deserted or abandoned across Hawaii every year, contributing to increased animal control costs, animal suffering and overpopulation, and increased euthanasia rates at local animal shelters.Abandoned animals are often subject to illness, injury, starvation, disease, attacks by other animals, and even human cruelty.Abandoned animals may also harm native wildlife.
The proposed legislation calls for a petty misdemeanor charge and a fine of $1,000.
If the animal suffers death or substantial bodily injury, the person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a penalty of $2,000 “in addition to any other penalties.”
HB 2245 was introduced by Democratic Rep. Mark Hashem.
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