A bill to clarify and strengthen animal control requirements passed 7-0 at yesterday’s Housing, Human Services, and Transportation Committee meeting.
“Pets are valued members of the family in many households throughout Maui County,” Committee Chair Stacy Crivello said. “I thank the community for giving the animals a voice in County legislation.”
Testifiers generally expressed support of the proposed bill. Some, including Maui Humane Society employees, suggested giving animal control officers more discretion in determining whether to classify a dog as “dangerous” to avoid absurd or unfair results.
Mandatory designation could lead to classifying an animal as a “dangerous dog” just because it scared someone who tripped or it injured a criminal while defending its owner from an assault. “Dangerous dogs” are subject to stringent regulations.
Council Chair Gladys Baisa, who introduced the bill, moved to change “shall” to “may” and give the enforcement officers the responsibility to assess specific situations in deeming a dog dangerous. The motion passed as the only amendment to the original version of the bill, which is posted here:
“How we care for our animals in Maui County creates a lot of passion,” Council Chair Baisa said. “This bill is a result of many meetings and community input.
“I am happy this is finally moving forward.”
Council Chair Baisa thanked Committee Chair Crivello for including the item on yesterday’s meeting agenda.
First reading of the bill by the Council is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 1.
# # #