Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Weak Hawaii laws make it tougher to regulate puppy breeders

By Tim Sakahara

More than 60 percent of households own a pet, but do you really know where it came from?

An undercover investigation began when a former employee at the breeding facility in Waimanalo blew the whistle calling the conditions inhumane. The Hawaiian Humane Society says it is concerned about puppy farms where profit is more important than animal welfare and many of the pet stores in Hawaii are feeding the problem.

The undercover video taken by an animal rights group called Last Chance for Animals shows sick, injured and in some cases dead puppies at a farm in Waimanalo. The organization showed the video to the Hawaiian Humane Society, which had already issued 17 warnings to the farm over the past two years.

With the evidence in the video they inspected again, but when they went to the farm there wasn't enough for a single violation and they weren't able to issue any citations...

...We exposed State Senator Clayton Hee to the video. He has successfully championed animal rights in the past.

"After seeing this it's clear I'll introduce a bill requiring puppy mills to be regulated," said Sen. Hee, (D) Kahuku, Laie, Kaneohe. "It's unfortunate that the profit motives of people are such that animals and pets in particular should suffer."

Senator Hee is already working on that bill and plans to work with local animal groups on the specific language. The Hawaiian Humane Society says in addition to making conditions better for animals, it would also like to make pet stores disclose where they get their puppies.

Also Becker did voluntarily surrender two dogs. One is the dog with the mange. The Hawaiian Humane Society will nurse it back to health and adopt it out when its recovered. The other dog is the spayed bichon frise that sparked the argument between the Becker and Vaughn. It was cleaned up and already adopted.

More about this story on farm investigation sparks animal debate

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