HONOLULU (KHON2) — Animal Control is not there just to take pets away.
They also provide education on animal welfare laws and resources for homeless persons with animals.
KHON2 went on a ride-along with the Hawaiian Humane society’s lead field services officer on Wednesday, April 12.
Sgt. Ling is much more than a dog catcher; he is an educator. He noticed two dogs were not microchipped during a welfare check at a Honolulu home.
“So, you can make an appointment with us for the chip. Then, we can do it there,” Sgt. Ling said.
“How much is the chip,” the resident asked.
“$20, yeah, make the appointment,” Sgt. Ling said, “Do the chipping because it’s required, yeah?”
After a written warning, Sgt. Ling checked on a homeless woman who he had visited before. She has seven chihuahuas and wanted to remain off camera but shared some insight into her struggle of finding pet-friendly housing.
“I can see both sides to it,” she said. “Some units are a mess. People, you know, they leave the unit with a lot of mess. But, then, there’s people like us who– we care about the unit and people’s property.”
“They’re not going to give up their animals to go into a home without them; so, they’d rather be on the street with them,” Sgt. Ling said.
The last stop on the ride-along was a follow up to a complaint of a dog being kept in a cage all day. The Hawaiian Humane Society gave the owner some guidance; and now, Peanut is a much happier pup.
“The shelter right now does give Peanut protection from the wind, rain and sun. Because of the fact that he’s got this cage with a roof on top, in case it rains really hard, he can go inside,” Sgt. Ling said.
The Humane Society’s main concern on welfare checks is if the animal has food, water and shelter. Officials said about 90% of their calls end in education not enforcement.
There is also a happy update on Maui. Sal Padilla, who was living out of his car with 10-year-old Pua, has found a pet-friendly residence in Haiku. He also set up a GoFundMe to help with necessities.
“It is off-grid; so, there’s no power there yet. So, that’s one thing I’m working on. I’m trying to build a solar array for myself and Pua,” Padilla said. “Just glad that me and Pua get to stay together, that’s all. She’s back there. She’s tired from a little beach session right now, but she’s– she’s feeling it.”