Through the benefit of extra funding, Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced Monday that the Hawaiian Humane Society will immediately resume providing convenient animal services to the community, such as picking up non-dangerous stray dogs and responding to barking complaints.
The following services will again be provided by the Humane Society’s field investigations and response team:
- Stray animal rescue and pick-up
- Dangerous dog and dog bite investigations
- Barking dog complaints
- Cat identification law and other law enforcement investigations
- Case work
- And 24-7 dispatch, rescue and response.
“The overall animals contract provides care and sheltering for stray animals which is 17,000 animals a year and this portion of the contract the additional money is for field services this is for our officers to be out on the road responding to stray animals, to dangerous dogs to barking dogs, to animals in distress, to cruelty and neglect and those are for services for both owned and stray animals ,” said Hawaiian Humane Society president Pamela Burns.
Officials also say the funding will help in other ways. In 2013, when some services stopped Honolulu Police were responding to all animal related service calls.
“It allows the police to focus more on the services they are best at and it allows us to focus on services that our officers are particularly experienced and trained to respond to,” said Burns. “With the increased funding to be able to expand our services to the community I think it is really great for the animals and people.”
“The police officers have so much to do, but the Humane Society was not able to provide that service because we had not given them a raise in their contract,” said Councilmember Ann Kobayashi. “So it is a big relief for the police department to not have to assume that responsibility.”
The Honolulu Police Department will continue to offer all animal-related law enforcement services including rescue assistance.
To make a report, please call the HHS at 356-2250.
From FY 2010 to 2015, the city budgeted $2.35 million to contract with the HHS. In the current Fiscal Year budget, an additional $800,000 was provided to allow HHS to resume providing the suspended services. As a result, HHS has expanded its personnel to assist with investigations, rescues, stray dog pick-up and dispatch. The field services team now includes 12 staff with five on duty every day island-wide.
“This funding will ensure a safe and humane response to stray animals in our community,” said Honolulu City Council member Kymberly Pine. “The Leeward Coast has the highest level of pet ownership on Oahu, and it’s good to know that when an animal is in trouble, or a stray needs to be picked up, the Hawaiian Humane Society will be there to follow through.”