HONOLULU, HAWAII — A bill originally aimed at preventing animal abuse has turned into something entirely different and now suggests that Hawaii
stop the sale intact cats or dogs.
The original House Bill 243, introduced Jan. 21, contained no mention of sterilization, and mandated only that intention killing
of someone else's pet would be considered first-degree animal abuse.
But after several hearings in House committees, the bill was amended by the Senate, and the version now being considered contains
no mentions of animal abuse. Instead, the bill blames feral cats for an explosion in the state's cat population, and says
there are more dogs than there are people willing to care for them. As a result, the bill suggests the best way to help overpopulation
is to "limit store-front retail activity of unsterilized cats and unsterilized dogs."
The bill would ban any pet retailer—considered as any person or business that sells animals through a store operation—from
selling unsterilized cats and dogs. Violations would be punished by a $1,000 fine for each offense, according to legislation.
The bill has been approved by several committees, but it still under consideration by lawmakers. If passed, it would go into
effect on Jan. 1, 2012.