Representative Cynthia Thielen (50th District: Kailua, Kaneohe Bay) has drafted two bills which will help regulate large scale commercial dog breeders as well as provide consumer protection to those buying dogs from pet stores and commercial breeders.
“Unfortunately Hawaii is one of the few states where puppy mills are allowed to flourish because of lack of permitting and buyer re-courses. Just recently there has been several media reports of large scale breeders who continue to raise hundreds of puppies in unsanitary and substandard conditions,” said Representative Thielen.
She noted that, “I have been told that some breeding facilities are facing animal abuse court cases and are also a being fined daily for zoning and permitting violations, yet they remain in operation.”
HB 1148 requires pet stores and large scale breeders to provide dog purchasers with written medical histories and allows purchasers to return dogs within a limited time frame for an exchange or refund if the dog is determined to have a preexisting condition.
HB 1192 requires large scale dog breeders to be permitted on an annual basis. Included in the permitting process are reasonable standards of care and socialization which are outlined in the bill. The permit is contingent on yearly, or as needed, site inspections by an animal control officer.
“The intent of this legislation is not to discourage or limit hobby breeders but to prevent large scale breeding of dogs in conditions which are unhealthy, unsafe, and a nuisance for neighbors as well as the community,” said Representative Thielen.
Thielen said that “There are a majority of responsible and caring hobby breeders whose purpose is to improve their breeds while providing healthy pets to local families. Sadly, there is also an overabundance of dogs waiting to be adopted which are desperately waiting for loving homes.”
Legislation such as HB 1148 and HB 1192 will limit large scale commercial breeders not providing adequate care and socialization to their dogs and puppies while not impacting small hobby breeders or rescue groups.